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Note from the editors


Tom Christopher A Short Essay on Beauty


Tricia Asklar Sculpture From a Single Piece of Paper Surrounded by a Simple Wooden Frame on a Blue Background with Sheep


Ed Schelb Flawed Brightness in Jade


Ricardo Alberto Maldonado News of a Death


Rebecca Gopoian Split Worship Me Break-up


Paul Fattaruso The ear. A thought the shape of an antler The beekeeper’s son


L.S. Klatt Vehicle Disabled Song of the Harpooner The Artichoke as Missile From the Prelapsarian World


Ryan Flaherty Stranger, Friend


Eleanor Davis Were Bear



Carl Tillona Crater Turn Here


Simon Perchik You will fatten your fingers on mud Excape from what? this hose


Alta Ifland Song of the Rooster


Blake Butler One & Another & the Last


Pedro Ponce Pilgrims


Rachel Contreni Flynn Fancy Dinner Party


Susie Meserve Wine


Dana Curtis Nocturne II


J.P. Dancing Bear Be That Releasable


Jason Tandon Shark Tooth


Sarah J. Sloat Reading Kolyma Tales Why Pregnant Women Don’t Tip Over

Rob Cook Deer Room in Appalachia Forecasts That Started as Forms of Whispering


Nathan Hoks House Party


Jeffrey Bernoth Four Pieces


Eleanor Davis America


John Ebersole Walking Away I Named You Glacier


Niina Pollari Home, in Eden a Nonexistent Word


Jennifer Pieroni Witch Gardener


Kim Chinquee She Went Down Again Boy It Was Probably Just Us


Erika Meyers Disclaim Her


Debbie Yee Another Field of Sunflowers


Derek Henderson First Cuttings



Charlie Clark The Royal We Console


Wayne Sullins A Hair’s Breadth


Wes Benson You Will Know Him When He Breaks Apart at Noon


Eleanor Davis Escape


Eric Nelson A Field of Trees


Russell Thorburn Her Hair with Its Own Voice Wisps Across My Face


contributors’ notes

Note from the editors To be glamorous and scintillating in the winter dusk… This issue entertains divergent aesthetics—like an arctic chasm entertains a desert wash, or the way a striped marlin twirls his beak through English frog ponds, or a long distance runner rides to work wearing a football helmet. None of these things can be found in this issue nor does a heroic ninja baby throwing dinoflagellates at a snowman. But you can curl up with dinner in the form of breakups, some deer, wine, Milton Bradley’s Van Gogh, fire, an artichoke, Varlam Shalamov, and a short essay on beauty which we think, as a whole, this issue is. In many different forms beauty comes, it is said. And the body craves what it needs. So perhaps (and this is also said) in some way you need what comes to you and therefore what comes is beautiful— even if it’s cumbersome, shifty, or otherwise unwanted—like rejection, like an ego being fizzled by rejection, a baby ninja, or a blastedopen snowball revealing a prize inside. Divergent? Convergent? We’re thankful you’ve come to us—or we’ve come to you. You’re beautiful.

— The Editors


Tricia Asklar Sculpture From a Single Piece of Paper Surrounded By a Simple Wooden Frame on a Blue Background with a Sheep

­ —after Peter Callesen’s “The Lost Sheep, 2006”

Here is a landscape of clouds not quite cut out. The shape of our sheep is not here, but outside of the sheet. She looks up at the absence of cloud the same color as her shy square of pasture. The cuts of curls are ridged into her sides with the same cruel razor that removed her from the field of white. Hello, she says to the edge of white, hello to the eye of the absent cloud. The ominous shadow of the paper rises from the frame, as if it is making to float up and leave its sheep behind. O, for paper wool, for wool paper. O, knit a place back in the sky for her head lifted to its missing space. O sacred ewe of farm animals, apple of Eves, window watcher, wrong wanderer of the frame, lonely shadow, sweet mutton, minister to our own vain wish to be part of the sky.



Jennifer Pieroni Witch Gardener For as long as you have lived in this village, you never learned the language. The internet connects you with those you must contact, and when it turns off you return to the pleasant confusion that suits you. The witch gardener can be seen in the mud as early as April digging sockets in uneven rows. You leave the village on the first humid day to see her. You know her by the bend in her back, by the shape of the spine that concerns you. Come summer, the witch gardener will sell shined stones and herbs in sewn bundles. You are partial to her lavender sacks. The witch gardener reminds you of someone you can’t remember. Every time you catch a glimpse of her you think you are closer to knowing. You think maybe it is the witch gardener herself who the witch gardener reminds you of, a younger one, but you have no way of being sure. The witch gardener does not live alone. She has a husband and two children. You see them in the windows and on the grounds when you pass. They each appear fed. Today, her children jester from a stump. In the cool moist air, the witch gardener’s hair resembles kelp. Her shovel strikes stone as digs up the fragrant ground. You keep walking, so as not to have an exchange. It’s just that she fascinates you all over again every time. Without warning, the witch gardener gestures to you to join her. 56


Paul Fattaruso The ear. The human ear. The auricle. The three ridges of the auricle, and the spring-loaded bones hidden deep in the ear cavern. The ear at night in its nest of hair. Then, the waking ear. The ivory ear. The silence of the village poured into it, as if it were an idea the ear had.


Fattar uso

A thought the shape of an antler grows through the doctor’s brain. A color, a memory, an aroma, a lost memory, the color again. A word. The word again. A memory. A remembered phrase. A picture. A face. A picture of a face, by lanternlight. A tremor of lanternlight. The elk reaches its antler to the ground, rustles it through a bed of dry leaves.

Fattar uso



Eleanor Davis Were Bear Tom Christopher A Short Essay on Beauty Note from the editors Ryan Flaherty Stranger, Friend 18 21 24 25 10 14 15 7...