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COVER

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Don’t judge a book by the cover. Write a book about the cover.


Sifter

Wendy Lotterman

Unlocking dice is tackled generally at night. The whirlpool isn’t customary, that is, of the belting sinkers passing thousands of minutes— sober not because of Andalusia, but the largeness of blue and green— selling much and all at once. The girl just isn’t listening to wilted groans, and life’s too brief when lateness closes. Snuffed in luck diffused— but they’re leaving and we’re young and something about pluto. In what pile of letters did I find this string and pull? But variety still won’t do, and the girl just isn’t listening; its wet, and brown— some might call them sticks.


BOOMERANG WON’T COME BACK

Sean Whiteman

The other day I got lost on my way to the storm. I often do. The storm didn't mean much to me, which is probably why I had such a hard time finding my way. I took four left turns before I was finally in the right and on my way. The scenery wasn't what it used to be but, then again, it never really was what it used to be in the first place. The tollbooth operator was out sick, so money wasn't an issue. Sure, it never really was, but it was fun to pretend. I saw it in the distance at first. Just a ball of fury suspended in the air higher than I remembered it. I kept walking because if I ran I'd be tired and if I crawled I'd be a chump. Despite my motivation for seeking out the storm being sound, I had hoped to have a little bit of fun along the way. One last fling with the big variable.

But, once I got to the front door, I realized just how old I had become. There was shaking and there was hustling but there was also strain. There were thorns where I didn't remember them and a lot more empty space than there should've been. Storms were apparently a young man's scene. There was wind and there was rain but there wasn't anyone I could talk to. I missed my mirror back home. In order to maintain dignity in a humbling moment I realized I would go forward with my plan. It wasn't a social storm, after all. It was a business storm. I was there for a reason and distractions were unnecessary. From my back pocket I pulled out an old boomerang. It was a little rusty, but still aerodynamically sound. It had seen some good days, but today was the day after those days. There I was, staring into the pit of the storm. There was yellow-eyed anger sitting comfortably at the core and an inconsistent mass of antagonisms swirling around the anger. If it wasn't floating so high in the air I would have had a closer look. But that was too high. Too high, and I was too scared. So, I did what I came to do. I chucked the boomerang with about as much strength I had left -- which wasn't enough to strike out a T-baller. After that, well... listen, you throw a boomerang into a tornado and no metaphor can explain what happens next.


What Have You Lost

Jamey DeOrio Peering through the window You step into the window And through the window And out


Sickly Body

Christof Whiteman

There’re smells that could have been dusted off winter or fall, Here amongst the brickery in frozen rivalry for a summit’s prize. Often cloying the impossible intolerance of the everydays, Real scents kicked up in real time check watches Never to tick out loud for our noses to hear. Surface of a cloud’s gray too supple to see or see through – Tin cans ring out in blind wait for abstraction’s Only cue to craft dizzy nothings out of your concrete. Remember the thorns that obstructed our city view? My ears are reluctant to ask, for they know not the season.


Vicky’s Office Pizza

Mary Yajko

Ingredients: (All can be found in break room B during peak tax season) 1 Grocery Store Croissant 1 string cheese stick Ketchup Black pepper Preparation Time: 3 minutes Directions: The first step for making your office pizza is to make sure no one else is in break room B. Two o'clock in the afternoon is a prime hour for enjoying office pizza in the mailroom away from the eyes of others. No one wants to see you eat it; it is confusing to them, and the explanation may leave them feeling pity or disgust. Once you have secured the break room, place a napkin over your grocery store croissant and gently flatten it with the palm of your hand. The buttergrease will soak through the napkin causing it to stick to your hand when you lift it. This is good. Next, squeeze out a spiral of ketchup onto your flattened croissant, and set the croissant aside. Moving along, peel your string cheese stick into approximately eight fairly thick ropes. Delicately lay the ropes onto the croissant in a crisscross fashion – four in one direction, four in the other. To season, sprinkle a generous amount of black pepper onto the croissant. Microwave on high for 35 seconds. Enjoy while gazing out the window at the gray world surrounding you.


Cross Children

Jenny Lotterman

Cross children hit-timing in earnest, caving to their heads and wanting ‘til the bleach shines through and it’s too bright, too hot to touch. All the thistles burning white give them mind swells, fake headaches to tender with empathies called empathy. Their feet are tapping away, brick branches stretching their imagery and there might be new buildings with lights to cushion, that heavy weight that blinks and groans with their tapping. They advance as they sway, the inter-passive slate walls enjoying for them while they laugh and scream into the glare. And they’re blind, pressing fingertips – dirty – against glass. Paneled image of the grime in their eyes, the devious births that swept up the light and gave color to pictures of branches, of children, of brick.


Request (a haiku)

Kalia Armbruster

Will you plant this tree?

What? This tree? Here, now, with you? her. No. There, then. With him.


Cover:

Thorn Storm by Amanda

Frankel

Editor: Christof Whiteman

Whisper Press 2011


Cover