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End of 83 | vol. 1 contents

Poetry 2 – March 18th: Updike's Birthday – Richard Baldwin Cook 3 – Glory – Ellen Marshall 4 – In June (26th and Miles) – Aurora Engle-Pratt 5 – Quick-Change Artists – Elisavietta Ritchie 6 – At the Museum – B. Morrison 7 – Westport – Alina Grigorovitch 11 – Preliminary Experiments – Elisavietta Ritchie 13 – Solstice Hike – B. Morrison 16 – Market – Kate Gillespie 21 – Canton Square – Alina Grigorovitch 22 – Franco is still dead, but.. – David Tablada 30 – Taxonomy – Aurora Engle-Pratt 31 – Gambrills in 1962 – Meg Eden 32 – When My Father Plays Chess – Meg Eden 33 – Falling – B. Morrison 35 – Faith – Chandni Chand 36 – The Bees – Meg Eden 42 – The Potentially Unfulfilled Crimson Hen – Elisavietta Ritchie 43 – The Alchemist – Richard Baldwin Cook 49 – Keep Watch My Child – David Tablada 50 – Metro Fantasy – Ellen Marshall

Fiction Shore Thing – H. Dean Freeman, Jr – 8 An Act of Kindness – Myrina Cardella-Marenghi – 17 Story for Sean – Whitney Morton – 24 Laugh Track – H. Dean Freeman, Jr – 44

Nonfiction Strawbridge Church – Alina Grigorovitch – 37

Art Harpers Ferry Late November – Alina Grigorovitch – cover Hospital Wing Eastern State Penitentiary – Kevin Moore – 1 Love is a Dog – Kevin Moore – 10 The Fallen – Stephen Evans – 14 Sunfaded Bloom – Larraine Formica – 15 Abstract – Alina Grigorovitch – 23 The End of Summer – Stephen Evans – 29 Morning Fog Odenton – Stephen Evans – 34 Little Red – Megan Richard – 42 Rear Entrance Chinatown – Stephen Evans – 51

Hospital Wing Eastern State Penitentiary


March 18 Updike’s Birthday

Updike: We need more worlds. This one will fail. Entitled is each one of us to die. Lifts Nature from us all weight, furls our sail. Imagine if the opposite applies. All joys foreseen, pains endlessly expand. Centuries pass, long decades days become. The endless drab sunrise, no longer grand. Cohabit, food, ideas; all this benumb. For nothing lives, as living on is sure. We savor only what we know must end. If accident or sickness will not cure our wander, sui caedere final friend. Dream you of endless Heaven, dreadful Hell? The soundest tree must fall, bleed out its sap. Accept; embrace, that last expiring knell, a foretaste: daily twenty minute nap. To live is grand but [life] in brackets comes. The final gift then: all that starts succumbs.


Glory I followed the moon home tonight Like a new lover she led me Running wild through the streets She darted in and out Pausing just to place her beauty in windows and Puddles Her gossamer veil trailing behind. Through leafy perches I watched her Flying fast by my side Until she leapt high to slam dunk a star And dance with the Orion Bear. When last I o’ertook her She lit up my bed While I, who lay with men, Dreamt of glory And woke to her smile.


In June (26th and Miles) At the end of the block, a woman laughs over a shared cigarette. The cat is a loop of fur behind a sparse planter. Someone has left an empty bag against the curb. Across the street, there is a light on in a second story window. The rowhomes press close as conspirators. A plastic lily fills the corner of a porch. Two boys play-fight in the back alley, fencing with sticks and fireplace pokers. The train keens past on a tight curve, high and long. When it rains, does everyone worry they’ve left the faucet on?


Quick-Change Artists

The caterpillar on my doorstep may have aspired to my hospitality and will soon show off magnificent wings— I’m not fooled by the curves and curls; know, despite the vaunted social behavior, only a tent caterpillar* and future dull and dusty gray-brown snout moth. The fiercer fat green red-horned tomato caterpillar becomes an elegant five-spotted hawkmoth.** *Malacosoma americanum **Manduca quinquemaculata


At the Museum

Frame your life in miniature and have a window open to illuminate just one corner — a shoe, a stool, a bowl on a table — show the cracks, the mottled wall, the way the cloth falls in sunlit folds. And all the rest dark, darkness and shadows where something may move or not, or be nothing at all. Cup your hands: held enclosed all life is art.



A distant world at my fingertips: the empty concrete beach beside a bridge, where a hidden railing leads to dirty water and dry reeds. I can get to this quiet, unhaunted oasis whenever by riding to Westport station by light rail (a true escape in the city – More so the ride than the destination.) Many have found this secret location suspended in time, and take a break from responsibility or facing their identity, riding the light rail back and forth when high for free; attendants never come by. That's why when you reach BWI you'll see a few who are empty-handed just leaning back and letting it take them wherever, repeatedly, but it is pleasant, predictable, nearly hazard free. So when you need to escape, hide in the cart that removes the burden, insulating while snaking the city (But where I am it is always quiet. I feel more like them than the ordinary going somewhere. I use this break to write and reflect on the nearness and distance that both define what I found today, and write out my tension; I feel out of place, like a lone, rogue nucleolus who escaped the cell and bounces, lost, awkwardly through the lifeless matrix of tangled fibers and breaking compounds, intermediate frankenshapes).


Shore Thing

We were sitting around on the rocks eating pizza when she said something I couldn't believe. There was a long strand of cheese stretching from my mouth and I was trying to break it with my teeth. Well, she said, what do you think? The boulders were huge and alien. Waves crashed against the rocks below with great explosions. We were high up enough that we felt only a cold mist against our bare feet. Neither of us had ever been to a place like this, so we decided that morning to climb up the pink rocks and find the highest flattest place we could. I tried to say something, but the strand of cheese was halfway down my throat and I still couldn't cut it from the slice. I felt like a fish on a hook. Somehow, the pizza was still hot, too – unbelievable, because it certainly was not fresh. She stood up on the rock with a huge sigh and chucked a piece of crust like a boomerang into the surf. Then she crossed her arms over her chest and shivered. I watched the goosebumps rise on her bare legs. I was hoping that I could swim, she said, but this beach is better for killing yourself than swimming. She stepped to the edge of the rock and looked down, her long toes curling over the lip. It was very cold, and all she had on was that beat up denim jacket over a short dress. I was trying to stare at her thighs when I realized that I had half a slice's worth of cheese tangled in sensitive parts of my anatomy. I tried to help it along with my fingers but it just kept twining out like a spool. On the way up the rocks we found a tide pool in the recess of a rock that looked like the hollow of somebody's back. We crouched and looked at a tiny starfish lounging between two motionless stalks of kelp and I looked at her with her hair falling over her face and said this would be a great place to have sex. She just smiled and looked at me and said where? with our asses in a tide pool? I shrugged and nodded. You know you are carrying a pizza right? she said. I looked down at the fat chef on the box with a tall puffy hat and long curly eyelashes like a pig's. 8

And again, I was being stymied by pizza. After she said something that had me floored, I unraveled a slice directly into my gullet. How many of our walks through the city, our boring adventures, had resolved themselves around my stomach? It seemed I was always hungry around her, as if all my other basic needs had been met except that I couldn't eat her, too. Each hot inch of cheese made me wince as it hit the soft palate of my mouth. I was holding the slice with two hands, and I tried to say something, but all that came out was a greasy gurgle. She looked down, as if just remembering that I was there. You okay, she said. I nodded and felt a tug. She knelt down and broke the strand of cheese with a little pull. I could feel it on my chin, hanging from my mouth and blowing in the wind. I picked it off and threw it on the rocks below. Then I swallowed hard. She rested her arms on her spread knees and the wind kicked up and blew her hair across her face. When she pushed it away, her expression was entirely blank. Well, she said after a while, what do you think. I cleared my throat and looked out over the ocean, over the violent shoreline, over the gulls that hung like a motionless mobile in the air below us. I thought about that tide pool that we saw, abut what will happen when the sea rises and covers the rock like a hollow in somebody's back and carries the starfish and the strands of kelp into the depths. Then I looked at her and took a bite of pizza.


Love is a Dog


Preliminary Experiments All these men who describe their first filched drinks or binges with booze, what happened or did not, age 17, certain experiments deliberate, or liquor suddenly caught up with them— Big mistake, Mama, I swear! Age six I swiped my mother’s Lucky Strikes, but coughed and choked on smoke, gave up butts that Lent and ever. My mother alcoholic, I realized: liquor in the genes, Booze in the Blood, best abstain. *** Sailing all day in an open boat leaves a sailor dry. I (men’s confessions emphasize the I) returned from the port to find in full swing the neighbors’ shindig. The usual smelly bottles but also a big bowl brimming with fruity fizzy punch. How it quenched my thirst! Much better than what school served from a can.


Walking home through cedars, across adjoining lawns, the green beneath my feet sped past amazingly fast. I realized: my first drunk... Quick quick, write, describe—

I scribbled though one whole yellow pad all night, white heat and all that. Isn’t this what writers do? Who cares about penmanship or writing all over the page? Morning. How to decipher my earth-shaking palimpsest? Cannot untangle a line. At least that was not the night I lost my virginity for the first time.


Solstice Hike

If I asked you would you hike with me at midnight round the back of Druid Hill through the dark woods past the fallen tree to the reservoir, its restless surface gleaming in the night, that wide water where we once dreamed of swimming like Island ponies, reckless, and alive? Or would you say your feet ache and you fear the park at night? Me, I'm ready to shake off the old season and plunge into the new, but you – decisions come hard to you. You would talk and tear apart the pros and cons, weighing day with night, even now when they are perfectly aligned.


The Fallen


Sunfaded Bloom



It bustles and blares the market eclectic kinetic crowd I enjoy Sundays under the vibrating road car wracked struts intermediate shade over concrete warmed greens corn shucks on asphalt crunch satisfying underfoot private conversations laughter and questions musical fresh fish are backgrounds as I wander and weave gauging the ripeness of this and that in my hands produce boxed with flair Zeke's coffee mini donuts far roasted meat tangy Thai scents pushed around bodies collecting peach seconds there pristine Swiss chard here waiting for the pumpkins and apples bushels in September


An Act of Kindness Uncle Louis had always been kind to me, and after my father’s death, he became even more so. A distant European cousin of my grandmother’s, Louis, an attorney in Vienna, arrived in New York about 1920. Ostensibly, he came to research the possibility of studying in America. If he was accepted at a law school here, his wife and two young daughters would join him. My mother’s older sister Bella, married well at seventeen and shortly became pregnant. Late in the pregnancy, her husband’s appendix burst during surgery, leaving her a young, beautiful, and well-off widow. Lo and behold, a shiva visit changed Louis’ life. He was hit by a thunderbolt and announced to my grandparents that, after a decent interval, he intended to marry the very pregnant Bella. They dismissed him as crazy, certain nothing more would develop. Nevertheless, Louis sailed to Europe, obtained a divorce, and true to his word, returned to New York. After th decent interval, he proposed to Bella. She accepted. Married, they set off on an elegant railroad journey to the west coast. After several months, they motored home across the country in a glamorous new Chrysler convertible they had purchased in California. In all, their glorious honeymoon lasted a year. Events had moved forward so quickly, Louis had not had time to study for the bar; so he abandoned plans to attend law school. His wife’s inheritance had dwindled and he had one family to support in America and another in Austria. He borrowed Bella’s last few dollars to open a bedding store in America. This had been his father’s trade in Europe. Everyone in our family said Louis had hands of gold. As a hobbyist he was a gifted carpenter, he even built the elaborate miniature wooden beds on which to display lavish bedding samples in his store windows. These beds were large enough to hold dolls about two feet tall. My mother had two sons three years apart. Then, seven years later, I was born. The January I was nine, my father died. Five months later, my oldest brother and his childhood sweetheart went ahead with their planned June wedding. Without music it was a somber affair. In September, my other brother left home to attend university upstate. 17

My widowed grandmother lived across the street. However, she visited us all day. One day Uncle Louis arrived with several dolls, their little carved wooden beds, and the satin quilts and canopies no longer fresh enough for his windows. Louis set up a playroom for me in my brothers’ unused room. At that time, Shirley Temple was a child star and the dolls he brought were her miniature likenesses. My grandparents had considered Louis their daughter’s savior when he and Bella married, conveniently overlooking the somewhat scandalous circumstances of their courtship. Now my grandmother viewed Louis as Hitler’s second-in-command. All her family in Austria had perished, as had Louis’ ex-wife and children. Sorrow was paralyzing, but hatred energized my grandmother. Somehow, she discovered that Louis had commandeered the entire holocaust to avoid paying childsupport for his European daughters. Behind his back, she referred to him as “that heartless murderer.” She never confronted Louis directly with her knowledge of his complicity, but her contemptuous attitude caused a rift between her and her daughter Bella. My mother, already overwhelmed by grief and emptiness, found herself in the midst of this new animosity. Now, in addition to her other losses, she missed the lifelong closeness she and her oldest sister had shared. I, too, sorely missed my beautiful Aunt Bella. But my wonderful playroom enabled me to block out much of this sadness. I spent untold hours in that room, not so much playing with the dolls as retreating into a world that Louis had created for me. There, it was permissible to feel pleasure, even if only from the look and feel of the luxurious miniature satin quilts, pillows and bedspreads. Often, I just read there. Most school day afternoons I sprawled on the floor of the dolls’ room to do my homework. Occasionally, I invited friends to share this oasis of glamorous ostentation in our working class Brooklyn neighborhood. Among my contemporaries, I was notable in three respects: In a culture where everyone had two parents, I had one; I had a mother who spoke with a lovely English accent, not a strange European one, and I had this magnificent playroom. One day, I arrived home from school to find the dolls’ room empty. I assumed my mother had moved everything to wash the linoleum floor and allow it to dry. When I asked where she was keeping the dolls and 18

their beds, my grandmother answered for her, “You’re too old to still be playing with dolls. We gave them to Surala.” Surala was eight years old and had recently arrived from Europe with her parents. Her father was my grandmother’s cousin and her only relative to survive the war. With Louis footing the bill—heartless, money-grubbing murderer that he was, it took years after the war ended to bring them to this country. Surala did not speak English. Truth be told, she did not speak at all. She just clung to her parents, her face hidden. This was okay with me. Fruitlessly, my mother and grandmother attempted to explain all of Surala’s past travails in Austria. I didn’t buy it. The father I adored, and who adored me, had died. My indulgent older brothers were seldom present to spoil me and make me laugh at their jokes. My mother, a cheerful woman, who often used to perform her household chores as we sang along to the kitchen radio, was now this wraith, a sad ghost of herself. The frequent gatherings in Bella and Louis’ backyard, when my handsome uncle, in his dapper Tyrolean hat, played the mandolin with his golden hands, while our entire happy family—aunts, uncles, countless cousins—sang along, had grown fewer and more far between. I was ten years old, coping with death, loss, my grandmother’s crazed sorrow, and witnessing helplessly my beloved aunt and uncles’grief and guilt over the murders of Louis’ ex-wife and daughters. My plate was full. There just was no space left for Surala, her parents, their three sets of huge, dark, haunted eyes and the stark blue numbers tattooed on the pale skin of their left arms. One day when they visited us, Surala’s father got down on his knees before me and declared, “You’re such a kind little girl. You don’t even know what a wonderful thing you’ve done by giving my Surala your dolls. You’ve given her back a life!” “I don’t care about Surala’s life,” I nearly yelled at him. “I want my dolls back!” But, of course, such disrespectful behavior would just about have done in my grandmother. About thirty years later, my mother asked me to drive her and Bella to the unveiling of Surala’s father’s tombstone. After the ceremony, an 19

old woman came over and embraced me. Tearfully, she said, “I want you to know my husband never forgot your kindness when we came to America. He spoke about you for the rest of his life. Not many little girls would have given away such beautiful dolls to our Surala.” Can you believe, after all this time I almost screamed at this poor woman, “I didn’t give f**@@ **g Surala my dolls!” But there was my mother standing next to us, awash in the memory of what a sweet child I had been. So instead, I answered her cousin’s wife, “Thank you. We were honored to be able to comfort your family in some small way during that terrible time.” Now, my mother absolutely glowed like a plum because that generous child she remembered had grown up to become such a gracious woman.


Canton Square Everyone does yoga in this yuppie urban park. The girls are wearing black stretch pants and Lululemon tops. The men are wearing Polo shirts or jeans and button-downs. Every passing couple sounds like everybody else. They sound just like my high school; it's like being there again. They talk of those not present and shut up when they appear. Most are wearing sunglasses; some are in summer dresses; over trifles they obsess while the world spins on. I once thought I'd like it here: it's safe and residential. Fifteen cut-out Irish pubs lend Friday night potential. Small groups pass each other by; it's loud but nobody says “hi�, even though I'd bet most people here have gone to bed. It's best seen as an outsider, an occasional visitor. Beneath the quaint exteriors, their own unheard unrest, festering below the skin, carefully contained within, and stifled when the Looney's din drowns the squirm with noise and beer. Without a doubt the grand appeal of Canton Square on Saturday are all the angels (meaning dogs) these people bring outside to play. No, to me it's clear: I will never belong here. Writing on this bench and looking one-of-a-kind queer, 21

I'm getting halfway glances, reneged out of cowardice, by a man behind his girlfriend who can't tell you where they're headed.

Franco is still dead, but...

In Guernica he occupies their hearts and minds. Crowds push and shove from the street into the coliseum, they fall in love with the smiling torero. They cheer. They cheer as the torero steps on the toro’s neck and spears it with a lance, he sticks the picas into the dead beast. Around the corpse he marches, working the masses. Sitting back, they drink beer and laugh. He stands straight like rifle iron. He gazes at the crowd with a death camp guard stare. He wears a velvet laced Matador’s hat. No. It is a steel helmet with a skull’s face. The crowd cheers, deafening the stadium. The torero bows.




Story for Sean

"Feeling as though you've been cheated isn't going to make it snow, right? So just forget it;" I say, short of breath while taking a gulp of chardonnay. The alcohol stings my throat. I decide to quiet myself for a while and pull a drag off of my Lucky Strike. "You're such a pessimist." A roll of the eyes. We're doodling moonfaced caricatures of each other on yellowed paper to the hum of a distant... Something... Possibly air-raid sirens. They're leaking through your kitchen window and they circle the room on the heels of our smoke beams. My upper body balanced on my toes, feet, calves and thighs; My spine bent beyond repair in the most unsightly of ways. I stare at your drawing of me: offensive teeth and a wobbly nose, eyes too big and dull to be of any use. You're looking at mine. In my portrait of you--it's obvious how the sun adores you--you're hugging each contour and kissing your nose. Leaving behind freckles and sun spots, marking your territory the way hickies did in high school. "Hey... I don't feel cheated. Not one bit. In fact, I've never complained about getting to wake up and roll out of bed when it's, like, 60 degrees out. I'm not complaining; I'm rejoicing. And you should be, too. I guess I didn't know you enjoyed winter so much." And outside the war is expanding and shrinking backwards from us. The boots and missiles, the cowards and thieves. You say it sounds like they're retreating. Possibly just to a bigger, more open area. “They probably just want more room.... Nobody likes to fight on top of each other.” "Nobody likes to die on top of each other. Maybe they're just out there picking their plots. Maybe it's all over... Or at least ending. Dogs do the same thing, right? They get away and they lay down and die. Everyone needs space. To live and to die." I'm chewing on my fingernail and you say, “Stop It.” 24

"I just don't know how I feel about it, you know? Where is everything going to? Why can't things just stay the same? I'm perfectly content living out a long, cold winter as long as everything is the way it's supposed to be." You're clinging to your Camel like a burning child, inhaling the smoke as if it's some kind of sacrifice. I'm wondering if you realize exactly what is going on here. "It just doesn't feel right. It adds to the feeling of unevenness I've been carrying around on top of my head lately. I don't like it. I don't like waking up to the sun 365 days a year." You fold your paper-skinned child on top of it and shove it away, watching it suffocate in the ashes of its own body. Dying in bed. "Well, I don't know. It's been like, two weeks." "Whatever you say." You try to hide it, but I notice you accidentally scratch your face and wince. "Only you could catch a sunburn through a stained glass window." "In January, no less." Wink. "I thought you were going to have these windows replaced." "Why would I want to replace these windows?" You give me some kind of strange, empty and quizzical look, as if you knew this was coming. There is a sudden, silent explosion. A shattering of glass. A side effect of the war going on on all four sides of us. We are suddenly surrounded by chaos. Bits of your beloved window fall into our glasses and splatter comfort all over the front of our bulky sweaters. (The ones we bought the day we agreed we should have met in the 90’s). We laugh and raise our cups, the wine inside bleeding green and blue reflected light.


“I'll drink to that." And somehow this triggers your innate urge to preach: "See, the deal with life is that, you know, life is the deal. It's the only reason. That's it, simply. You're the poster child of overthinkers, kid. It's too much. It could quite possibly be the death of you." "Yeah… I could see that." Swig. "You're born, you survive for as long as you can, as well as you can, and uh... Well, you die. If we gave it up right now, just handed it over, to the dogs..." – Pause. A waving of smoke away from your face. – "… Or, for the sake of imagery, the ants, life on earth would be just fine. There would just be no us, you know? No discussion of how or why. Just work, work, work. No hanging out, no art for art's sake. Just existence." Swig. "Sounds refreshing." "Exactly. See, you get it. Just take a breather; move through the motions but don't worry about them. You're a worrywart. A cute kid, but you always want everything to be so..." – Lighter, cigarette, burn, breath, mouth, throat, lungs, mind. – "Tragic?" "Uh huh." Now my fingers are raw and sore from chewing on them. You're giving them looks of clear disgust. Nothing personal. "Anyway, all I'm saying is maybe you should just take a step back. You need a vacation from the details. Bask in the big picture. As well as we have everyone convinced that we're really, really important we're just not. So enjoy your anonymity... at least until you get your head straight." The sun is setting and the heat of our mouths escapes through the 26

new hole we've already gotten used to. Your tiny kitchen table, once clean and bright, is now sticky and cloudy red with ash and sunset. I'm wondering how much longer we can really, honestly, keep this up. "Do you think anyone else notices that we're always in a movie?" "The two of us?" Doe-eyes and a nod. One fixed camera capturing profile shots of our big, messy heads. "Well, I mean, ha ha. You do smoke as if you're hoping to win an award from the academy of beautiful, smooth smokers." Yeah, well, you're sipping your wine like you're trying to convince our audience of dust mites that your holistic avoidance of emotion (what I've deemed your pre-pubescent psychosis) is a simpler depth of character. I don’t say this out loud. It’s not necessary for me to speak this truth. Instead, I direct my chuckle away from you and towards my pen and you sigh, give us a big, loud stretch and resume your position of intellect among the inanimate objects and me. "This dialogue is wearing thing, hm?" "Any better ideas? What's going on lately?" "Jesus, well... Nothing. I was just thinking about the walk to and from your house. Even in daylight it's really comforting. The highway, I mean...." In their old age the traffic and resounding explosions have become white noise. "… Which I guess is pretty unnerving actually." "It's just air pollution. Don't forget that. It's all ruining everything. Who the fuck is going to pay for the new window I'll now be needing.?" "Well, I'll help you tape it up so we don't, like, freeze to death. I thought the war was ending. You just told me that." "I said it was ending but I didn't specify what or when." Drag, puff, exhale. "Whatever... More wine?" 27

"Oh, please." Pour, splash, sip, gulp. "I know what your problem is. We both know you're too smart to be the simpleton you claim to be. You're constantly facing. It must be exhausting." Yawn... Bored. "Fuck that. Who told you that? You know, maybe. But I'm just striving for something that I think is better. They've got it all figured out and they've got no clue. Sometimes not getting it is all you need to get. Understanding can be a curse. Very brilliant people are often very lonely." "Mmm, well, all my sympathies." "You know what I mean." "Do you want to take a nap?" Outside we hear the gunshots and screams, our eyes gaze at the window. Little slivers and circles of light shine in, carrying cold air and dancing snow flakes on their backs. "Ah, there you are." And everything is just the way it was, before the world was ending.


The End of Summer



Your name starts with the same letter as the first letter of the name of the day you were born. Yesterday you chased sparrows off your lawn. Because no one notices when you unclasp your hands. Saying you are lonely lacks specificity. You say, you like the way hand can mean style of writing or useful appendage. But you are incorrect. Lately, you are unable to rise with any kind of grace. You are graceless. It is because no one notices you have placed a button in the pocket of their palm. Because you are new to the city. Today the sparrows are back on the fence. You smile, but you don’t know why. It is because they remind you of shoes after a rainstorm. Because you leave your boots on the porch to dry. Your hands are sheaves of paper. Your face is the sign above a convenience store. You treat the street you live on like a novel. Today you are walking through a gulch in a part of town you can no longer say you haven’t seen. Because you do not know the directions. No. Because you have forgotten them.


Gambrills in 1962

One neighbor had chickens in the kitchen, the other was a naked woman on the front porch with a shot gun, shooting at my father on his way to school — one girl was so afraid she walked through the woods, and my uncle carved the woods out with a machete alone. A black man lived in an old sharecrop shack, and when my father went fishing with him, he was scolded. They laughed at my grandfather for buying that god-forsaken tobacco plantation in the middle of nowhere, the middle of nowhere that is equidistant between Baltimore and Washington, that is getting a new shopping center every year, that is neighbor to homes that are now on the market for one point seven million dollars.


When My Father Plays Chess

When my father plays chess the world is sixty seconds long and extremely fragile. Upstairs, my mother calls for dinner, but it is irrelevant. He lives off pawns and knights. When my father plays chess I know not to ask him specific questions, or make comments on his moves. One time, I asked him if I should go out with this boy, and he moved his king into mate. When my father plays chess I have to write him sticky notes. I stand behind him, watching his games, waiting for the lull between opponents when he will look me in the eye.


Falling I’ve taken to falling, tripping over curbs and uneven sidewalks: a stumble, a catch and down I go again. Skating taught me how to fall: twisting, sinking, hands pulled close; true, it taught me to adapt when the ground slides out from under me, but also taught me when to let go and let myself fall. Let me throw myself full force into this life, sink into this sole and solitary life, the only one I will ever know. Let passion conquer fear and hunger choose the crooked paths.


Morning Fog Odenton



The steps of the temple, I entered that place. Step by step, no care, no sense in being here. Waste of my time, that’s what it was, praising a god that I did not understand, what for? Sitting there, I stared at that slow clock. Watching time pass into what seemed like an eternity. Tick tock … tick tock The prayers are so long, why isn’t this clock moving faster? My mind was wandering; all I could think about was that food. That good food was all I wanted. Looking around, wondering when these people will get up and head for the canteen, this boring place where I did not belong, why am I forced to be here? The steps of the temple, I entered this place, Step by step, with care, sense in being here. Worth my time, that’s what it was, praising a God that I finally understood, what for? Because I have faith.


The Bees

Outside, my father bats at bees with a snow shovel. When he swats, he jumps like a dog, his eyes focused. It’s April, and he has never gotten stung. The bees live in the shed. They’re a rare kind of bee, endangered, and pest control refuses to exterminate them. My father becomes his own exterminator, and isn’t afraid of getting stung. Their bodies fall down, hard and black like hail, into the grass where they are forgotten. There are so many of them, under my feet. So many flowers that will not bloom.


Strawbridge Church


Strawbridge Church Where was our beautiful Fall weather, I asked a coworker today as we walked to get lunch through the suddenly cold and cloudy DC October day. Yesterday it was hot and 85 degrees; the leaves were still mostly green. Then it rained and left an overcast dreary, air temperature plummeting to 55. I was happy to make the most of my beloved peacoat, but I would have been happier with bright blue skies and crisp mountain air where it didn’t belong – hanging around the pale gray Soviet bloc buildings of the (currently empty) US government. Office life isn’t conducive to a gym routine when you have to get to the next city over at the end of the day. You can’t just pop into the gym at 4:30, leave by 5:30, catch the 6:20 and collapse on your beloved couch at a quarter to 8. At least not if you want to make time for hobbies that aren’t watching TV, or cook something to avoid eating out in DC every day. So I started a new routine (another little routine) of changing and going for a walk immediately after work. My neighborhood of choice is Bolton Hill. Near MICA and a peaceful blend of art students renting 6-to-a-house and families enjoying one of Baltimore’s best residential communities, it’s stunningly beautiful. At first glance it’s a kaleidoscope of cramped-together row homes that each stand out from next door by some detail – an archway, the color of bricks, stone instead, different shutters or plant arrangements – but as you walk and peer into the narrow alleys and around backs you realize how many houses have backyards, how many people are grilling today, or tending to their mansion gardens, in fact how many little private gardens there are. And public gardens. And parks. One restaurant, one café, one deli, one nail salon with a massage option. But the most amazing thing is the handful of churches like castles. Episcopal, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, even the former Grand Lodge that was even formerly a synagogue. The first evening I had no direction and got lost in the maze, a whirlwind new feeling. Savor the first time, the only time when you can really be lost. In just that time is it most magical to stumble upon a beautiful old church, beautiful not because it’s the loudest and most impressive like the grand United Methodist Church lording over Mt. Vernon Place, but because it sits like a surprise on a quiet street corner, 38

an old structure hidden behind houses and trees, planted firmly in the bed of broken red brick paving stones that roll up and down and jut out like piano keys. Its dark brown weathered stone body is shaped of unique architectural quirks, such as a thin round chimney coming up from the middle, half parapets in the back, and unwashed stained glass windows, some of which look into the shiny red bricks of the next door neighbor, revealing by their very existence who was there first. I couldn’t find it again. I found, and re-found, the other churches, each of them technically grander than my favorite. The most beautiful is the Episcopal Memorial church, made of the same dark brown stones and sporting its own set of memorable quirks such as a hexagonal tower and original wooden framing. When I tried and failed to return to my favorite on three separate days, I started thinking maybe it and the Episcopal Memorial were one and the same and I just had a terrible memory but a great imagination, perfect for making up nonexistent churches. On today’s cold, dreary evening, my mission came to me anew. I set out miffed about the unpleasant weather but enjoying Bolton Hill all the same: ivy crawls around the parapet of a red brick corner; a thin pile of yellow leaves covers the grassy bit designated a park like first snow; lights strewn around passing windows make you think of how magical walks in the Winter will be a few months down the line; and you realize you’re squarely in Fall. Suddenly the air is crisp, the sky, not blue, is dusky slate-tinted, and pumpkins earnestly decorate stoops at the peak of their reigning season. This is when old brown brick churches are in their element. Accented with red doors, black hinges, deep and dusty glass, broken corners a la early stage ruin porn, they are the shades and state of Fall, world-weary and immovable. They have known life. They are not fleeting Spring, nor active Summer, nor quiet but glittering or heartlessly barren Winter. They are stately, wise Fall, perpetually calm, perfect with cider or a glass of red wine. With a little perseverance and the recollection of the third of Bolton Hill I’d been ignoring, I finally found my church again, overjoyed at the affirmation that I was not insane. I was in love with it, and it took me a moment to realize that while it was clearly a church, it had no visible name. Its identity was “1843” etched into a sand colored cornerstone. 39

The windows were dark, doors bolted. I realized it wasn’t in use. A tree sawed down to its skinny, 6-inch diameter trunk grew out of a crook in the front, and around the other side facing Park Street a skinnier branch bearing a few leaves stuck out from the top. It was indeed less shiny than its counterparts scattered among Bolton Hill's front end. I walked around to the park across the street and stopped in my tracks; Strawbridge Union Methodist church, completed in 1883, as Google revealed, looked at me squarely with its red front door and Gothic archways. It was beautiful; but, so much more. It seduced me into its history like a depression drawing water. I stood there for minutes, paused in our world, breathing it in as the interactions that took place by and through it for over a hundred years opened up wordlessly like a secret garden or the mind of an artist in the process of painting. Too many interactions have left their ghosts for me to want to live there (the notion of converting a church into your house has been romantic to me since I read about it in Urbanite Magazine years ago). You couldn’t sleep in peace. But I imagined the world it stood in 130 years ago, before the influx of town-homes and yuppies and art students parking their Priuses along the red brick street as they came home for the night and continued their lives out of historical context. A tree partially shades the front door and the red brick path around it, and in the cool air of Autumn I could almost see shawled and booted people walking it over the crunching leaves. The pure October weather was the key that opened the door, but words stop at this arch; you can’t take a reader into the world of a girl walking past that church a hundred years ago smelling the October air and thinking what people here must have thought at the time, thoughts that hang around in half-whispers like bits of string if you are attuned to the pulsing of brown stone walls. They bleed with history. They ooze with copied Gothic flavor seeking to model Europe but becoming distinctly American, with its rounder, more wholesome, freer air. This was the place of new recipes, new lore around old forests. Their break from their own history becomes the history itself. How many pumpkins do you think sat on its stoop in years past as kids walked by? This is what Halloween is supposed to feel like. Visions from “Sleepy Hollow” hit the spot. A white car drove past, and I had a flashback to that scene in “The 40

Time Machine” when Alexander first steps out into 2800 to a girl on a hover bike. History has moved too quickly in the past hundred years. We are drinking our wine before we make it. A continuity has been broken that is just the cause of driving this church into disuse. We are a world of new souls playing a game without knowing where the rules came from, or even what they really are. We move into the neighborhood as students intending to stay here a few years and get what we need to make our mark, consuming and leaving behind nothing. We are working on projects but live out of touch with our surroundings. We move too fast to recognize history, and the continuous line that becomes buried under successive layers of leaves. I’ve just drunk history, a potent elixir that took over a hundred years to brew and only uncorked in the right alchemy of weather, light, and state of mind. As I lean against the concrete wall beside MICA overlooking I-83, under the pink and orange streaks over periwinkle blue above us, after this incursion through made-up history I’m reminded of right now. Then I focus on the clouds, remembering what it’s like to be inside them, above them. They hold the distant glimmer of a life much older than 19th-century churches, which look unnecessarily complicated from such simple heights. They hint at a life before thought. And then you come down, back to I-83, back to your memories of made-up memories, back to your ideas of art projects featuring Baltimore churches, and you think that a furlough is a good time to buy a new camera.


Little Red

The Potentially Unfulfilled Crimson Hen For M--

The crimson hen sits on a nest of brown leaves, or is that straw? We don’t know if she sits upon an egg, as logical for a hen. The artist who with swift brush strokes created her while I watched may not have thought to paint an egg before she painted the hen to sit on the nest. Yet was this hen programmed to incubate an egg, even a painted one? We don’t know. The artist completed her sketch of the hen, moved on to paint two hummingbirds in flight.


The Alchemist

Slow in the dawn, the young man, hollow-eyed slumps down from all his failed and sterile drills lost in the maze of formulas he’s tried grins at his sleepless braziers and his stills. He knows the gold, Proteus, itself betrays its glint in acts of mice or great Pharaoh Is sure it hides in dust along byways, in actions of the arm, crossbow, faro. His private vision of an occult prize that hides in stars and in the warm raw earth echoes that other dream, matter disguised as water, thought which Thales gave first birth. Another vision, of eternal Gods Who disappeared but in all things do dwell Spinoza sly geometer to clods explains that Now is both Heaven and Hell. In black expanses to east and to west, the planets are beginning to grow pale. The alchemist is thinking now to test the secret laws that link sun to earth frail. But while he dreams of finding in the fire true, pure gold that will put an end to ends the gods, who know their alchemy, conspire to hide from seekers their oblivions.


Laugh Track

Several clowns have surrounded me. I am sitting on a bench, trying to think, or else brood, and a group of seven or eight clowns have surrounded me. They don't really look like real clowns – not professional clowns I mean. Instead they look like some kids who decided to dress up like clowns this morning and stroll around the hood. They are wearing t-shirts, overalls, jeans, but then they each have fat red noses and their own outlandish accessory like a tutu or huge green shoes. Most are wearing thick white gloves and they are moving their hands back and forth like Mickey Mouse. They are laughing as clowns do, and their faces are frozen in big toothy smiles. Yes, okay, I am in public. I guess that negates any right I have to privacy. I can't really expect to be alone in a park, in a big city, can I? Well, I don't want to be alone really. I come out here to be around other people, people I don't know and people who don't know me. Even if I don't talk to them, even if I can't talk to them. I like to watch them walk by with their little babies, so many little babies, some people have three or four tucked away in various pockets all over their bodies. I like watching them play sports and games while I sit here and think or read. There is nothing better for concentration than the sound of a ping pong ball being smacked around, or a couple solid kicks on a soccer ball. I think that all of society should be split between those who are playing games and those who are learning. We should be set in a big open space where each side can easily see the other, where each side can't help but see the other. Then, every once in a while, we switch sides. But when I decided to come out to the park this morning, I didn't think that a wayward troop of clowns would surround me! Not today, when I'm grumpy, when I have a headache and my expression is tightly wrapped in a fog of bad juju. Out of all the people they could have approached in the park today, why me? Every bench is occupied. I saw them push through the gate, so gaudy and garrulous. I saw them from the corner of my eye and I tensed up. Of course, that is why they picked me.


I'm not hateful towards clowns. I'm not even afraid of them. I recognize that there is a place for clowns in the world. We need fools as much as we doctors and scientists. I just don't get it. I don't think they are funny, and I think they are unbearable to be around. Simply put, we don't jive. Naturally, that makes me the perfect target for clowns. They can smell me out with their flaring red nostrils. I've had run ins with them before. When I was four, I went to a party where someone had rented a clown. I was playing with the other kids, rolling in the grass, hiding behind the shed. Anything to avoid the clown, which was holding court in the center of the party. No matter how many people say they don't like clowns – and I've never met a person who admits to it – a clown never has a problem mustering a crowd. That was the case at this party. The clown was blowing up balloons, shooting water, honking its nose, and people were eating it up. Suddenly, the clown set out across the yard, where I was playing with the few kids that were left on the outskirts of the party. The crowd followed it, eager to see what its next buffoonish move would be. The clown walked right up to me. It was huge, looming in its frilled costume that shimmered in the sunlight. It smiled at me and opened its mouthful of yellow teeth wide like it was going to say something loud. But I started screaming first. Tears rushed from my face and I turned a deep shade of red. I fell on the ground and rolled in agony. I wasn't afraid, I was in pain; the clown had caused me to have a hernia. As the group of clowns approaches me, I move to the center of the bench and try to take up as much space as possible, spreading my legs and arms wide. As if a troop of clowns would be willing to respect someone's personal space. They pay no mind and walk right up to me. They are standing around me with their hands on their hips. I don't look up from my folded fingers – maybe this is a mistake? Perhaps the clowns have been hired for someone's birthday or anniversary or funeral or something and they have made a wrong turn into this park. Maybe the clowns want to ask me for directions – people are always asking me for directions. It certainly isn't my birthday, and I don't have any friends. There is no self-sufficiency in a clown. There is no tortured clown honing his or her craft in a lonely room. The clown feeds on attention, 45

good or bad doesn't matter, wherever it comes from that's where the clown will be. They travel in groups, and for good reason – they seem more innocent that way. There is something especially sinister about a solitary clown, something aberrant. The clown only exists in numbers, against numbers, and before numbers. Even their appearance is a grotesque of the human being in a group – wild gesticulations, painted faces, ridiculous clothes. The clowns are drawing closer. I can't bear to acknowledge them, I don't dare look up and show them that I believe in their existence. The problem is, I'm not alone in the park. All the people looked up when the clowns traipsed in, and now they are staring or (motherfucker) already laughing. Now the clowns have their justification, which is important because these clowns are still young, neophytes that require the approval of the crowd. A more seasoned veteran, a grizzled old red hair, can sustain a fit of clowning by proxy, drawing strength from the idea of a crowd source sprinkled across the globe, a disparate group who might be thinking of a clown, or looking at a picture of a clown, and smiling, or (goddamn it) even laughing. But these clowns today, still bearing the signs of their former existence (soon to be nothing more than a vestigial white sock here or a black shirt there) need their audience, and they have it. I look up at them. Some of the clowns are rubbing their large gloved hands together. Some are sweating and just smiling. A girl emerges from the group. She is wearing a short blue dress that fits tightly over her thick and shapely body. She has long brown hair tucked up in a tall messy bun on the top of her head. Her eyes are blue too and she has a fat red ball for a nose. I know right away that she is the leader. The girl bows deeply and some of the people in the crowd clap. Most of the clowns do too. Then they stop and the girl-clown stands in silence for a long time and nobody makes a sound and all is quiet in the park, even the birds stop singing and the cars stop zooming by on the road outside. Just like the clown who caused my hernia, the girl-clown is holding court. Everyone is watching her and she has the power. I have heard that in some indigenous cultures it was a great honor to be chosen as a human sacrifice. They often picked the most beautiful 46

people to be led up to the dais, displayed before the throng in a last moment of demigod-like glory, then summarily killed. I feel something like a filament stretching across time as I sit here on this bench, as if I have been found sitting on the dais of my own accord. If seen this way, I should be proud to be here. What was human sacrifice anyway than an ancient joke that lost its punchline? What was Christ besides a straight man for the cosmic joke? Even the religious figured out long ago that God is not a King but a Fool. The girl-clown starts screaming. It isn't high pitched or grating, it isn't even unpleasant. She is in full control of her vocal cords, and I can tell that she is a good singer. She is screaming and no longer smiling and is opening her mouth so wide that you can see her perfectly white teeth and now the other clowns are screaming too. They are harmonizing in a way, congealing into a slop of sound as thick as strawberry ice cream. Some of them are beginning to move, to circle slowly around the bench. A blonde girl with rabbit ears draws close to me with a blank look on her face and bursts out some type of ululation. I flinch – can you blame me? I have no idea what is happening to me, but at this point I realize that I have been conscripted into a role. I too feel the greedy eyes of the crowd bearing down upon me. It is my duty to be the curmudgeon, the straight-laced bore, while a whirlwind of madness swirls around me. So I flinch, like a good bore does. By now, the clowns are hooting and hollering in totality. They are running around me, and the spectators are bobbing like buoys against a stiff wake. They are impressed. I can see some semblance of fear in their eyes and the world is lit up like a neon bulb and this dolorous sound is rising up from the depths of the city, the sound of ten, fifty, one hundred voices shouting so loudly that they waver and crack and I feel myself being borne up and down, up and down and it is all because of these clowns, these goddamned, terrible clowns... It is the morning and the municipal gardeners have arrived. They have come to work on the flower beds, which are due for their seasonal re-mulching. It is very early, and the sky hangs low and gray. Amongst the immaculate, uniform grass, they discover strewn multicolored limbs, heavy wild-haired heads, chests heaving in deep sleep. The 47

clowns and many of the crowd lay sprawled across the green, collapsed where exhaustion found them the night before. I am emptying a heavy bag of manure into the wheelbarrow. I look only briefly at the faces of those spread on the grass. They hardly seem familiar and are anyway somehow blurred by the wet morning air. The barrow is full – it is time to dump the load of robust shit onto the soil that surrounds the flowers, which will feed upon the waste, convert it to paint for their tiny, upturned maquillage. The wheelbarrow squeaks as I push it across the grass around splayed legs and white gloved hands. I groan with the weight; it must be several hundred pounds. I pass a snoring man in a suit, his bald head and shiny lapels slick with dew. I reach the beds, sweating, moaning. With all my strength, that somehow seems lacking this morning, I tip the barrow and watch the shit come tumbling out. I wipe my brow and the smell of fresh, moist manure rushes up my nostrils. A flower's bright face peeks out from under a small mound, its bright petals dusty with the shit. Then a clown sits up, rubs its eyes coyly, and looks for someone they just met, someone whose face they are having a difficult time remembering, squinting through the bright light of the impossibly early morning. They look for him on the bench, but he is already gone.


Keep Watch My Child

I saw them: Carvel and Sarah. Living Ghosts haunting Their former home, Mimicking the days Before their slaying. “You there,� I Said. They turned. Their shade blood Dripped, but, vanished Into an abyss, Muted with fear. In this interstice We stood together. They tried speaking, But nothing sounded. They turned, lost Between our worlds.


Metro Fantasy

Deep within A wind sock of a tube A veritable centipede of steel feet Moves us Sucks us Up, up, up to sunlight Invites us to festival I dreamt I must be standing inside The legs of a Chinese puppet Pounding in the New Year I am a giant among Those swaying And dancing On paper tubes Within cityscape. I look down upon the sea Of people wound round the party ribbon It draws me along the road To Carnivale The yellows and ochres breathing Life onto the streets Frankenthaler’s Madridscape Nunca static Siempre moving Across the Mediterranean It tosses me onto asphalt Onto feet awakened to the Salsa beat.


Rear Entrance Chinatown


Contributor Biographies Kate Gillespie is a microbiologist getting her literary mojo on. She has presented in the Baltimore creative scene's"'Poetry in the park" reading series, Submit10, and the OneMinutePlay(OMP) Festival. Kate's work has been published in the Magic Octopus, Toska journal, and Eightstone Press:"Smile Hon! You're in Baltimore". H. Dean Freeman, Jr is a young person who lives in West Baltimore, USA. Having been recently churned out of a higher institution of correctional education (UMBC) he is doing his best to learn something about The World every day. Recent interests include: the French language, the history of colonialism, the metaphysical significance of ancient cave paintings, and healing his broken collar bone. Ellen Marshall has been writing poetry since age fourteen. She occasionally gets her best inspiration at 50,000 feet, on the back of an elephant in Phnom Penh or on the MARC train to D.C. Ellen rests her slippers next to her husband’s in Gardenville, a neighborhood of Northeast Baltimore. Writing has become one of the vehicles Ellen uses to awaken others to act for social, societal and political change. Her poetry, essays, and short stories have been published in Volumes 28 and 29 of Poet’s Ink, in The Baltimore Sun, and the 2014 inaugural issue of Dragonfly Arts Magazine. Her most recent book project traces what makes Ocean City, Maryland a cultural phenomenon. Larraine Formica lives in Abingdon, MD, originally from Philadelphia, and started playing around with photography ten years ago, getting more serious in the last four. She is mostly self taught but credits her husband, a fellow photographer, as a teacher. Now retired, she spends too much time trying to get the perfect shot. She currently shoots with a Nikon D5200 and an iPhone. Richard Baldwin Cook is the author of SPLENDID LIVES AND OTHERWISE: Sonnets of Remembrance (available at, and the following books available at and elsewhere: THAT’s WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT – Collected Essays, literary criticism; ALL OF THE ABOVE I and ALL OF THE ABOVE II – genealogy and family history.


Barbara Morrison, who writes under the name B. Morrison, is the author of two poetry collections, Terrarium (2013) and Here at Least (2006), and a memoir, Innocent: Confessions of a Welfare Mother. Her award-winning work has been published in anthologies and magazines. She conducts writing workshops and speaks on women's and poverty-related issues. She is also the owner of a small press and speaks about publishing and marketing. She has maintained her Monday Morning Books blog since 2006 and tweets regularly about poetry @bmorrison9. For more information, visit her website and blog at Stephen Evans is a Portrait and Fine Art Photographer located in Aberdeen, Maryland who works on location with existing natural light. His work can be viewed at or on Instagram under username "stephenshoots". Aurora Engle-Pratt is poet and mixed media artist living in Baltimore, MD. Her passion for art in the community impacts her writing, research, and artistic practice. Aurora's poetry has appeared in a variety of publications including Grub Street, Peering In, and Row Home Lit. Chandni Chand has a Bachelors of Science in Information Systems and works as an IT Specialist. She has been writing for a few years. This is her first publication and she anticipates more to come! Elisavietta Ritchie: poetry, fiction, articles, creative non-fiction, widely published, anthologized, translated. 16 poetry collections, recently Tiger Upstairs on Connecticut Avenue; Feathers, Or, Love on the Wing; Cormorant Beyond the Compost, Tightening The Circle Over Eel Country, won Great Lakes Colleges Association's "New Writer's Award." Fiction: Flying Time;In Haste I Write You This Note. Washington Writers’ Publishing House: expresident poetry, ex-president fiction. Myrina Cardella-Merenghi was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in a seaside resort town in Rhode Island but makes frequent visits to Maryland. She has compiled a 2013-2014 Anthology for the Neighborhood Guild Creative Writer's Group and completed a novel, Family Values, under the pseudonym Saratoga Sutter. She is a member of South County Writers and is working with them on a memoir of growing up in post-WWII NYC. David Tablada likes cats, reading, and whiskey. 53

Alina Grigorovitch writes, draws, and dabbles in photography and music. She is the author of novels Magic Artinia, School of Breaking, and The Invisible Forest, and founder/organizer of the Baltimore Writing Hour. Find more of her work on her website, Kevin Moore is a full-time designer and photographer, and life-long resident of Baltimore, Maryland. His photos hang in public galleries and institutions as well as personal collections up and down the east coast. They've also appeared in a variety of national magazines including The Boston Review,Baltimore Magazine, Bethesda Magazine, andDelaware Beach Life, as well as online sites likeThe Huffington Post, Sports Illustrated,,and the Colbert Report. Moore's work covers a range of subjects, but colorful people and interesting places are among his favorite things to photograph. Feel free to check out his website at, his Flickr page or on Facebook at Meg Eden's work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Eleven Eleven, and Rock & Sling. Her work received second place in the 2014 Ian MacMillan Fiction contest. Her collections include "Your Son" (The Florence Kahn Memorial Award), “Rotary Phones and Facebook” (Dancing Girl Press) and "The Girl Who Came Back" (Red Bird Chapbooks). She teaches at the University of Maryland. Check out her work at: Whitney Morton is the author of Story for Sean. Megan Richard is primarily a water-media artist dabbling in watercolor, acrylics, inks and casein. Her works are in collections throughout the United States as well as in France and Russia. She comes from a long line of creative women and finds inspiration in the natural world: the Chesapeake Bay and Patuxent River region, hikes in the Cascades and Adirondacks, and long summers spent with her family on Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. Megan teaches art at Bowie Montessori Children’s House.


End of 83 vol. 1 Fall 2014

edited by: Alina Grigorovitch Ian Levine David Tablada William Pearce Casey Litchtman online at print copies available for purchase at End of 83 is the literary journal of the Baltimore Writing Hour and features writing from group members as well as other writers in the Baltimore area. However, all are welcome to submit. We seek to publish the best we find in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, illustration, and photography. We love good pieces about Baltimore and the Mid Atlantic but do not exclusively publish on these themes. Mostly, we are looking to give a sense of our unique time from a milliard of perspectives. We are also looking for pieces that blend and bend genres. End of 83 claims first publisher rights. Upon publication, all rights revert to the author. Send submissions to We do not accept previously published work and simultaneous submissions are fine as long as you notify us of acceptance elsewhere. For more detailed guidelines (to ensure your work is considered) visit

The Baltimore Writing Hour is a writers' group based in Baltimore, MD for writers to come together and work on their projects. For more information visit or follow us on Twitter @writinghour



End of 83 - volume 1  
End of 83 - volume 1  

The inaugural issue of End of 83, literary magazine of the Baltimore Writing Hour, an open writers' group in Baltimore, MD. For more informa...