Control Literary Magazine
Issue 5 July 2015
Edited by: Annabelle Edwards, Allison Friske, Annie Robertson, and Bernard Grant
Collection Copyright 2015 by Control Literary Magazine
All rights reserved by the original authors
Permission must be granted by original contributors
Fonts: Monotype Corsiva, Andalus, MoolBoran, Consolas
Cover and back photos: Allison Friske Back cover effect: Glow edges
Phew. July is done and hopefully the storms are too. We had a few miniature storms on our staff during the past few months that delayed our creation of Issue 5. We will say, however, that the wait was worth it. This issue is packed with stories that test the boundaries of social convention, poetry that embraces the NSFW hashtag, and art that jumps into the realm of the typically unexplored. We are very pleased with the selection in this issue, and although it took a little longer for us to get it ready for you guys, we hope it is still a joy to read. We hope that as you read, the discomfort you feel during some of these pieces will inspire you to think outside the dominion of social acceptability. We hope you continue to hang in there with us as we continue to deal with these staff changes. We canâ€™t do this without our wonderful readers and people that support us. Thank you for your continued patience. We hope you enjoy this issue. Sincerely, Allison Friske & Annabelle Edwards Co-Editors of Control 3
Table of Contents William Doreski
A Fat-Free Immortality
the death of spring
Magdalena Doesnâ€™t Understand
Peaches and Cigarettes
A Fat-Free Immortality William Doreski Up early I stoke the woodstove and note how the frozen landscape shimmers in the eye despite
the lack of moon or starlight. You never notice such effects
because doused with cognac you doze as sincerely as a machine. The men who think you beautiful lie sneering in Manhattan lofts or smoking in bed in Munich or Bordeaux. They spend their lives posing before their own egos in various shades of nudity
any palette could accommodate. The winter dark defines me by filling my pores and hardening like those plasticized sculptures of cadavers everyone admires. Everyone except you and meâ€”
you because you refuse to believe that internal organs exist, me because I hate that jaunty, spunky challenge to tragedy, especially after the fact.
Your lovers, however, aspire to this fat-free immortality, believing that eventually
youâ€™ll learn to admire the torsos youâ€™ve utilized but despise. The snow-crust looks too tough to challenge before daylight
so I add two logs to the stove and pretend that the two of us are happily burning in Hell.
The big logs smother and fume so I have to fuss with the fire
until an orange flame erupts. At this moment you awaken
a hundred miles from me, your body uncoiling from a nightmare you canâ€™t remember, your flesh
orange in the sudden lamplightâ€” but now you gather yourself, clench your psyche, and snuff that vulgar and frankly unflattering hue.
Disjointed Youth Steven Stamm Whenever Ryan held a pair of scissors, he imagined cutting off his fingertips. The blades thick, clunky, jagged. Sometimes when he sliced at his nubs, the metal lodged in a knuckle, dangling in the joint between realities as blood and rust created a macabre mosaic. On his worst days, he mentally stabbed at his Achilles tendon, splitting the fibers as his foot became inert and his ability to walk, skip vanished. Ryan basked in his uselessness, even if the ineffectuality remained mythical. On Sunday mornings, he preferred to lie in the gray light of nothingness. Televisions off, music non-existent, pool pumps dormant. He could hear everything. The neighbor’s dog yelping, the shifting of bedsprings marking his parent’s weekly conjugal. While cars were parked and people slept, privacy evaporated. Some Sundays he would sit outside and listen to babies cry down the block and wonder when their parents would care enough to hold them. Other Sundays he would fill envelopes with his dreams and address them to his mother, leaving them in his dresser for her to find when folding his socks. When Ryan’s mother discovered letters tucked beside Ryan’s once-white tube socks, her first impulse had been to steam them open and scan the contents, then reseal and replace the
envelopes. Then she noticed the addressee, MOM. The letters were for her, potential heartfelt thoughts from Ryanâ€™s teenage soul. She tore them open, the paper slit skin, and soon her fingers stood as a bleeding memorial to maternal curiosity. Each envelope was empty. She didnâ€™t understand why he hadnâ€™t filled them, why he had addressed the envelopes. Why the two no longer spoke. Why her house had fallen silent. She missed changing diapers, bandaging cuts.
Cunnilingus Lingus is the pretty word
in this action.
It is lengua, language, tongue, lemon sorbet under a plain tree. Nil is the nothing,
a hug, the subtraction of space or the void of a bed. Cun is cunt,
razor burn in the wrong places, edges of lips, current, it is can't, almost control and why can't I.
the death of spring Shira Hereld the morning after you rape me, we make what you call love four times –
light on; no sheets; sober; bare;
i hide in secret places along the underside of my skin where i can sleep to the birdsong of blood still pumping, pumping
on the porch, you stare as if you know me deep into my irises’ mirrors
searching for a bluebird/blue jay/sparrow/other bird? in the winter of my face
there’s a wall, you say i say, there’s an avalanche.
Magdalena Doesn’t Understand William Doreski Magdalena doesn’t understand
why I can’t admire the landscapes stretched so tightly across Europe they’re springy as trampolines.
In her schoolgirl poise she insists that rhythms in German remain immutable, shaped by Heine
to snugly glove the emotions. Why can’t I shovel the snow off my corpse and rise again
like a more democratic Reich? She has never seen America,
a baggy collection of suburbs creased all over and sweating with fear of money. No wonder I’ve torn along those creases,
grim as the drift of continents.
But her e-mails grow more urgent: I must explain my lack of colons, my personifications of storm and treetop, my obsession
with rusting junk cars abandoned in forests where the cadavers
of lost hunters crumple to dust. Why no circus tents swaying in summer breath, no lovers
with bottle-shaped kisses, no dogs and cats dozing on children’s beds? In Salzburg where she studies
languages she doesn’t have to love the hills look comfortable as dentures and the clean streets ease from house
[stanza break] controllitmag
to house with stone-curbed discipline. How can I explain the attitude
of white pines sneered by the wind, the smoky disdain of the hair
framing my face in the mirror? Magdalena will earn her grades
and go home and write in German in her diary and puzzle me as the sad American whose sense of geography threatens to rip the planet into fragments almost too small to swallow.
Bats Lily Meyer The bat room is on a reverse time cycle. Bats are nocturnal and we work during the day—our day—so we switch their morning and night, keep the colony dark between nine a.m. and eight p.m., but when we go in the room we hit the override and blast their eyes with fluorescent hell. Bats blink like people. They swoop out of the air, unfurl their translucent ears and cling to the cage bars, chittering and shuffling, as we snap on gloves and take the animal we need. When you come to Rhode Island, I’ll bring you to my lab. You’ll be surprised by how cramped and messy it is, kudzu-vine cables in the electronics room, beer bottles clinking in the recycling from the nights we work late. The X-ray tunnel looks like it’s made out of tinfoil, and the computer screens sprout aerials like spider legs. I’ll take you to Animal Care, suit you up to protect you from the rabies our bats don’t have, and turn on the lights in the bat room. I’ll unlock the cage, and as soon as you step inside you’ll hear the wing beats and the hissing humidifier, feel the wind as the bats spin above you. You’ll tilt your head to see their horned noses and beady eyes, and I’ll stand behind you, watching your thin braids slide down your back. Right now I’m working with Gentle Ben. I’ve sent you pictures of him. Black fur, bald snout, wide nose flared on top like a gingko leaf. He’s a Carollia perspicillata, Seba’s shorttailed bat. In the wild they roost in caves or hollow trees, eat fruit, not insects. Most of our
Carollia are bad flyers, wobbly and lazy after years in lab cages, but Ben works hard. Dmitriy and I have been training him to fly the X-ray tunnel, dropping him down its rubber maw three controllitmag
times a day and shooing him to the far end with slices of cardboard taped to broom handles. He barely needs the encouragement now, which means he’s ready to fly on camera. We have to operate first. Monday morning we’ll wax the fur from Ben’s back, slice his skin open and sew metal balls to three points in each shoulder. If the anesthesia doesn’t overwhelm his heart he’ll get a full day resting in isolation, silver sulfadiazine on the incisions to protect him from wing rot, and a quarter milligram of meloxicam in his food for the pain. Flight trials start Wednesday. We’ll put him in the tunnel, set up our video and watch the metal move with his bones. Ben recognizes me when I open the Carollia cage. The others scatter, hang far out of reach with their talons wrapped tight around the ceiling mesh, but Ben stays put. He trusts me. He lets me scoop him from his roost with the butterfly net or, more often these days, with my latex-covered fingers. His heartbeat rattles his body. Someday I’d like to handle him without gloves, even though he scrabbles, shits, bites when he goes right side up. I want to feel his downy fur, the hot rush of blood in his wings. We all talk to the bats. When we hold them we coo close to baby talk, trying to soothe them as they struggle, and when we fly them we grunt, curse, mutter that if they don’t give us twenty good wing beats down the three-foot tunnel they’ll end up lizard food at the bottom of Animal Care. And I talk to them when I need to think. Anna caught me a few days ago, hanging feeders of mango pulp and monkey chow, telling the circling bats how much I miss you. She linked her fingers through the bars. “You need a real girlfriend, Mike. One on this coast.” I shook my head. “Well, at least get some roommates. Bats don’t count.”
Anna was a dancer before she studied bat shoulders. Jazz, swing, and modern, she told me. She spent two years at SUNY-Purchase studying choreography and performance before she blew out her right knee. ACL and MCL tears on the same fall. The surgeons reconstructed the joint, but you can see the injury in her walk. She doesn’t limp, but she sways. Misses beats. Dmitriy and I got to this lab studying small mammals, skeletal anatomy. Anna wanted to learn flight. Dance is about takeoff and landing, she says, and she’s done with landing. Yesterday night, after we scrubbed down the cages and replenished the food and fruitjuice supplies, the three of us went to the Grad Center bar, same as always. We shared fivedollar pitchers of Narragansett and discussed the wing-shape data Dmitriy had just finished collating until Anna slammed her hand on the table. “We’ve got to stop. We have to talk about something other than bats or we’ll go insane.” She cocked her head at me. “Michael’s heading there already.” Dmitriy shrugged. “I like bats.” “You can’t only like bats.” “Bats and beer.” Dmitriy reached for our half-empty pitcher and poured out refills. “We’re going out tonight.” Anna sucked down the foam on the top of her glass. “We’re going to act like normal people.” “Out where?” “To a club. We’ll find one.” Dmitriy groaned. “Oh, hell, no. I don’t do clubs.” “Come on. Don’t be lame.” “I’m lame, Anna. I’m so fucking lame.”
She narrowed her eyes at me, pushed a strand of blond hair from her forehead. “Fine. But Michael, you’re going to dance with me. Right?” Our research is on the mechanics of flight. Bats have more flexible wings than birds or insects, more joints to bend, and crepe-paper skin that stretches against the air no matter where the wings fold. We call this compliance. Our lab is looking underneath the compliant membranes, under the muscles, trying to isolate the locking mechanism in the shoulder that gives bats the power to lift off. At least, that might be how it works. So much of science is not knowing. Wrong guesses, failures. You would hate it. We left Dmitriy on campus, cut down Benefit Street in the humid dark and landed at a Water Street club with a balcony overlooking the metallic river, a Top 40 R&B playlist, and a two-for-one Sauza Gold special. We did three rounds of shots before Anna tugged me away from the bar. “I want a cigarette.” “I don’t have any.” “Then I want to dance.” On the dance floor the speakers vibrated and yowled and my hiking boots stuck to the parquet. Anna wriggled her thin shoulders and nodded her head to the beat. Her T-shirt rose away from her jeans, showing a band of pale skin as wide as my thumb. She flashed me a grin as I shifted my weight from left leg to right. Bodies rustled around us, circles tightening, couples snaking their hips together. Next to one dim wall I made out three poles, each with a collection of heeled girls around it, rubbing their backs down the metal and laughing. Anna was laughing too. She opened her mouth to speak, but the music was too loud and she motioned me closer. As I bent to her lips the tequila burned behind my eyes. “Dancers are the worst in clubs,” she said. Her breath was warm in my ear. “We never know how to act.”
“I think you’re doing fine.” “I’m better at it now.” She sent a shiver from collarbone to knees, hips swinging with the song. My field of vision was shrinking around her. When I’m drunk it’s always sight that goes first. You know that. You’ve seen me trip over roots in the sidewalk, bang my shins on the corners of your bed. The DJ switched to a song I half-recognized. Anna touched her bad knee and grinned. “‘Homecoming.’” “What?” She edged closer, the mass of backs behind her pressing into the space she’d left. “The song.” She lifted a hand to my shoulder. “Kanye. ‘Homecoming.’” As I nodded she moved her other hand to my waist. It was easier to dance that way, easier to keep the beat in my body, move with the music instead of the alcohol whirling deep inside my head. It was disorienting to be so close to somebody. Her mint-and-lavender smell cut through the club grime of sweat, liquor, stale smoke. I could feel the warmth of her skin, the soft brush of her hair on my cheek. She arched her neck, tipped her face up. I lowered my mouth to meet hers. Flight takes more parts than you might think. Bats use tendon and bone for takeoff, muscle and skin to flap and maneuver. It’s not just up-stroke down-stroke. Their wings curve and flatten like kites, the skeleton bending to reduce drag. A bat can turn completely around in less space than its body occupies in the air. I left Anna on the dance floor. While we were in the club it had begun raining, a thin drizzle that caught on my arms. I checked my phone, but you hadn’t texted or called. It was still early for you, just after dinner. Cars skidded down Water Street, bass lines leaking through
their closed, tinted windows. I wrapped my arms across my chest and walked back to campus fast. The streets were full of drunk undergrads, most moving from party to party with their elbows linked, Solo cups in hand, some groping each other behind buildings or pissing in the bushes. None of them noticed me as I headed up Thayer to Bio-Med. I swiped into the back of the building, got two Brooklyn Lagers from our lab fridge, and took the stairs to the bat room. The lights were on. I flipped the override and before long the bats woke up, spread their wings and began to chirrup and squeak. I sat on the floor outside the cage, cracked a beer and listened to them taking off. When I woke up this morning the room was light. The bats were folded like umbrellas, roosting in clumps when they should have been awake, flying. The back of my mouth tasted like Styrofoam, and my temples were about to cave in. My shirt smelled like Anna. I imagined her curled in bed alone, arms tight around her bundled blanket. You in bed in the morning, one leg kicked free of the covers, one hooked between mine. I got up, left the bats still asleep. As I walked outside I saw that Iâ€™d missed two calls from you in the night. You always forget the time difference. Three hours. I hope you remember when I donâ€™t answer.
prometheans Brandon O’Brien
History is full of old men
telling new adults that they should never save children from making what they do not know are mistakes. The newest is an angel I met
with concrete on all his limbs,
every wing clasped in solid grey, his legs of light twisted and his face no longer of glory but
of stone. He said I was lovely, that he had come right from the office that said I was lovely, that he
had come to let me know because their files said I didn’t know yet so he had come right from the office to kiss me on the lips like wet
sweet truth and now he wasn’t
sure if he was lovely either and I said, ‘that’s what the earth does to you, it’s lovely itself in all its treachery, it is a sight, it is a
magic all its own, and that’s why we stop to watch it, but it can take
your self-love from you long enough, if you stare at it through you and not at you through it’. I wanted to see his light. I wanted to see his light so bad
and feel what holiness would feel like against the s(k)in, would it feel like nicotine and joy and being tipsy enough to disappear through the touch but sober enough to remember it?
God, I wanted to see his light, was that sinful, to want to kiss an angel? I cried, I wanted it so badly.
He cried, too, the kind of cry that watered little seeds in his new-stone face till I could see his pupils become daisies. He said he wanted to see my light too, God, he wanted to see my light too,
was that sinful, to want to kiss Godâ€™s own image, the bodyguards of space?
God, look upon your creation with pity at how our skin whimpers with want, how could you put us in a place where love is so addictive and then lock us out of twenty-four/seven love and watch the withdrawal shakes take us?
Hummingbird Cake Tolu Jegede
It looked like a gray triangular slab
coated with white icing I asked the cashier why they called it Hummingbird Cake Because it’s sweet, he said,
like the nectar that hummingbirds eat Oh, I said, disappointed
that the cashier didn’t mention the 1,260 beats per minute that kept them floating
I was looking for a man who would sink his fork into the icing,
down down into the cushion, lifting the piece to his lips, and after one long
bite, say, “You know all that hovering? All that flapping about?” “Yes?” I would say. “That’s us.”
John Law 23
12.14 Colleen Maynard I made Christmas drawings of pine trees spilling over with ornaments, curtained and clasped windows in the background so as to say, This is a home.
I made such drawings to be scotch-taped upon bedroom doors, because I did not want certain traditions fading from our house. How else would I remind my family to be appalled by graphic language and the cutting open of bodies on TV? * People seem tougher.
They stand on balconies and in the parking lots smoking cigarettes silently. They come in from the rain, clumping like seeds on oil as they gather around a small table.
They are too large a group and some sit in chairs
distanced a meter or two away from the countertop. They touch each other’s arms lightly, anchored by the shape of grief.
It comes in handy to familiarize yourself with the tone used to quiet a classroom of preschoolers during a thunderstorm.
You’ve done this before, with more people than this. Focus on a piece of dust on the floor. *
It happened once when you were a kid, while sitting in the car with Billy Joel
playing over the radio. It happened at eleven on the country roads as Mom drummed her fingertips to “For the Longest Time.”
You had just got glasses and could see each blade of tree branch like a mess of wires you didnâ€™t know had been there all the time
but inside everything looked about the same, worn cloth seats, acapella on the radio.
Fur Ball Paul Beckman All we can figure is that Arthur and Elaine got tired of listening to all of the talk about other people's babies and decided to do something about it. Our group of friends, numbering a dozen couples or so, all in our mid-twenties to early thirties already had kids—mostly infants and toddlers while a few of the wives were in various stages of pregnancy. My wife, Marti, and I were having our annual Memorial Day picnic at our house and all had arrived except for Arthur and Elaine. Finally, an hour late, Elaine walked into our back yard with the proudest bust-my-buttons look on her face and said her hellos and told us that Arthur would be along presently. “He’s getting Baby Jeffery out of the car,” she told us. The women surrounded her, questions flying- When did you adopt? Where did go to
get the baby? And then along came Arthur pushing a baby carriage and we surged to greet him and see Baby Jeffery. Arthur held out his hand, palm up to stop the onslaught, and proceeded to take Baby Jeffery from the carriage. He was swathed in a yellow blanket. Elaine walked to Arthur’s side and the three of them came towards us. Arthur held the baby gingerly. “I’m sorry we’re late,” Arthur said. “We didn’t want to wake Baby Jeffery up from his nap.” controllitmag
Some looked at each other with a ‘what do they know’ look. Others chuckled sympathetically. Arthur began to unwind the blanket while Elaine stood next to him, beaming. He handed Jeffery to Elaine who said, “Isn’t he beautiful? Isn’t he just beautiful?” The rumblings of laughter began—some of it nervous laughter and then there were the outright guffaws. Arthur and Elaine looked at each other. Arthur took Baby Jeffery, a cuddly brown teddy bear, back from Elaine and laid him back into the carriage, draped the blanket over him and looked up. “I’m starving. Let’s eat,” he said. Over to the barbeque grill we went and piled food on our plates. Everyone ate, wondering whether Arthur and Elaine were putting us on or had lost their minds. As usual, the guys drifted to the other guys and the wives sat together. Every so often when one of the men would tell a story about his child, Arthur would chime in with a Jeffery story—not always interesting but a Jeffery story none-the-less. The same thing happened with the women. When Marti went over to a quiet spot to breast feed our baby, Elaine followed and sat next to her holding baby Jeffery to her bared breast. Marti told me Elaine talked to her about breast pumps and apologized for not inviting the group to the bris but they decided to have a small family affair. Marti told her she understood. “Brises are getting so out of control.”
Arthur and Elaine had been trying to have a child all the years we’d known them. At first Arthur would joke about getting a call and having to leave work and run to the doctor’s office with a copy of Playboy. Anytime someone read an article about a new method, theory or cultures’ way of handling this issue, Arthur or Elaine would be called. Their cause became our cause and even though they wanted a baby they never seemed to overly obsess about it. Baby Jeffery became a part of all of our lives. Arthur and Elaine wouldn’t go out unless they had a babysitter, and they would periodically call throughout the evening to check on Jeffery. They occasionally cancelled plans at the last minute if a babysitter cancelled or Baby Jeffery had the sniffles or. “It’s a fucking stuffed animal,” I yelled into the phone one evening when Arthur called to bail out of a poker game. “Baby Jeffery is a teddy bear. A stuffed animal. I’m sorry,” he said. “But I’m surprised at your attitude, you being a father also.” When the invitation came for Baby Jeffery’s first birthday party, Marti asked me what I thought we should bring Baby Jeffrey as a gift. “A bond,” I said. “You’re always safe with a bond.” Except for singing “Happy Birthday” to the little fur ball it wasn’t a bad party. We all brought our children and encouraged them to bring their favorite stuffed animals. The
children thought nothing at all was strange since they’d all given their animal’s parties at one time or another. We began to see less and less of them. Then one day they called and told us they’d bought a home in the next town over. “With our growing family,” Elaine said, “our starter ranch house is getting crowded what with all of Baby Jeffery’s toys and his baby furniture. You understand.” Arthur’s law practice flourished. Elaine cut back to half time as a social worker in order to spend more time with the baby. There was always something going on that kept them too busy to get together. At a cocktail party we discussed that it had been a year or so since anyone had seen them. Many of us had made overtures and sent invites but to no avail. We were not invited to Baby Jeffery’s’ second birthday party and soon they fizzled out of our discussions altogether. One day at work I got a call from Arthur. He wanted to meet for a drink after work. He looked terrible. His hands shook and he’d started smoking—something he’d rarely done before. “Elaine divorced me this morning,” he said. “I’m really sorry to hear that.” “Worse yet, she got custody of Baby Jeffery and I only get supervised visitation twice a month.” 29
He ordered another round. “What happened?” “We met another couple right after we moved and spent most of our free time socializing with them. That’s why we never accepted any of the invites. This couple became our closest friends—closer than family and they had a little one very much like Baby Jeffery. We were introduced by one of Elaine’s social worker friends who thought we would bond with Betsy and Harold.” “Obviously you did,” I said. “Too much,” Arthur said. “Their baby was a little girl, a panda, Baby Wanda, who was a few months older than Jeffery and we really hit it off. Than one day Betsy left Harold and Baby Wanda and they never heard from her again. For the next six months Harold practically lived with us—eating dinner together each night, watching TV together, until the night I spotted them downtown pushing their strollers. I followed them, watched them go inside the Build-aBear store, laughing as they considered their options. They held hands, kissed.” “What a shame,” I said. “Some thank you from Harold for all you did for him.” “That night they both told me over dinner that they had fallen in love and Elaine said she wanted her freedom to marry Harold. She said they’d already made plans to adopt another baby. controllitmag
“So that night I snatched Baby Jeffery and hid out for a few weeks. Elaine hired a private detective and tracked me down from my credit card receipts. I had to take an anger management course and see a shrink twice a week. Elaine got sole custody.” ~ Arthur returned to our group. He got himself an apartment and a sports car. He was invited to our functions and sometimes came. The day before our Memorial Day picnic he called and asked Marti if he could bring a date. “Well, what’s the scoop?” Marti asked Arthur. “She’s someone I met on JDate a while back and we’ve been seeing each other for a couple of months now. We’ll be bringing her twins with us. They’re two.” ‘Can’t wait,” Marti said. About an hour after the picnic started a van pulled up by the curb. Arthur and an attractive brunette got out and opened the street side door. The two of them pushed the double stroller up the driveway. The sun tops were down so no one had a decent glance at the twins. Arthur stopped the stroller half way up the driveway, put on the breaks, and they walked up hand in hand. “I’d like you to meet my fiancée, Leah. Baby Aaron and Baby Max are asleep. You’ll meet them when they wake. We’re starving,” Arthur said. “How about some hot dogs?” 31
Peaches and Cigarettes Zoya Gurm
Neon signs and ballerina shoes,
like the time he hugged you but didn’t mean anything. He has this gap between his teeth
something he can’t change when everything else has.
You pay for the New York Times with a hundred dollar bill, sit cross legged on the wooden porch in front of his three story house;
he’ll kick his legs up on the top floor humming Johnny Cash and lighting
cigarettes with his momma’s lighter. At night, he’ll take your hand, the city will shine with restaurant names cheap beer and thin ambition, he might kiss you
in the back row of a big theatre filled with the better, watching the Russian opera with smiles of awe you’ll be busy, he’ll smell humbling like peaches and smoke reassuring and poignant.
When you grow old, you’ll sing Cash and he’ll hum from afar painting solid color canvasses
in the arms of another woman.
Elizabeth Ashe is a visual artist, poet and travelholic, who earned her MFA in Creative Writing from
Chatham University and a second MFA in Multidisciplinary Art from the Maryland Institute College of
Art. She was as Associate Editor for Fourth River. Between graduate programs, she was Director of Mavi Contemporary Art and started working on a couple patents. Her poetry has appeared in Sundress Press'
“Best of the Net – 2012,” Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination, “Haiku for Lovers” by Buttontapper Press, Vagabondage Press, The Legendary, The Battered Suitcase, Glass: A Literary Journal and Bird's Eye reView, among others. Ashe lives in Washington, D.C., where she works as a vintage furniture restorer. Paul Beckman used to be a Realtor, Air Traffic Controller, Saloon Keeper, Pin Setter, Numbers Runner & many other things. These days he's a Zeyde who writes, travels and takes pictures both above and
beneath the water. Some publishing credits: Metazen, Connotation Press, Existere, Molotov Cocktail,
Pure Slush, The Brooklyner, 5 Trope, Litro, Soundzine, Opium, Playboy, The Connecticut Review, Ascent Aspirations and other fine publications on line, in print & via audio. He can be reached at
email@example.com & visited at his published story website www.paulbeckmanstories.com William Doreski lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and teaches at Keene State College. His most recent book of poetry is The Suburbs of Atlantis (2013). He has published three critical studies,
including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals.
Zoya Gurm is a student with roots in India and a childhood in Cleveland, Ohio. Her work has been
featured in Nowhere Magazine, The Artistic Muse: Poehemians, and various anthologies. She is most inspired by youth cultures around the world, especially ones she has experienced firsthand on her countless international travels.
Shira Hereld is a senior at The George Washington University, studying Political Science and Theater.
Her previous poetry has been published in Assisi: An Online Magazine of Arts and Letters, The Baltimore Review, Fresh! Online Literary Magazine, and the upcoming issue Wilde Magazine.
Tolu Jegede was born in Bloomington, Indiana but spent his early childhood in Lagos, Nigeria. His
poems have appeared in the Mythium Literary Journal and the Mud Season Review. He loves old school hip-hop and the San Antonio Spurs. He teaches English at North Florida Community College.
Florida man, Roger Leege, draws on his Goddard MA in Visual Arts and his past as lawn boy, meat cutter, storyteller, trucker, EMT, poet, trim carpenter, bass player, painter, embalmer’s assistant,
printmaker, analog photographer, journalist, dissident, videographer, K-16 educator, and computer scientist, to make his widely-published and award-winning art.
Colleen Maynard is a writer and visual artist. She has contributed to Oxford Magazine, Monkeybicycle,
and The Same Magazine. Maynard graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute and received training at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in botanical illustration. Currently Maynard works with Writers in the Schools of Houston.
Lily Meyer grew up in Washington DC, studied Creative Writing at Brown (BA) and the University of
East Anglia (MA), and now works for the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in DC. She is currently editing her first novel.
Brandon O'Brien is a performance poet from Trinidad. He has been shortlisted for the 2014 Alice Yard Prize for Art Writing and the 2014 Small Axe Literary Competition, and represented his country as a member of Trinidad's first Brave New Voices slam team in 2008.
Steven Stamm is English Teacher, Writer, and Track/Cross Country coach from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his wife Adriana and two small children. Steven tends to focus on his home of
Florida and the oddities therein. In doing so, he writes primarily flash fiction, believing the model fits modern societyâ€™s desire for instant gratification. His work can be found in Fiction Southeast, Kudzu House Quarterly, and the Rappahannock Review, among others.
Elizabeth Ashe Paul Beckman William Doreski Zoya Gurm Shira Hereld Tolu Jegede Roger Leege Colleen Maynard Lily Meyer Brandon Oâ€™Brien Steven Stamm