Crack the Spine - Issue 78

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Crack the Spine Literary Magazine

Issue seventy-eight

Crack the Spine Literary magazine Issue Seventy-Eight August 28, 2013 Edited by Kerri Farrell Foley Collection copyright 2013 by Crack the Spine


the choice, we will

always select madness over method�


Jeffrey Park Game for Two Cheryl Diane Kidder Pi David McAleavey Sunday They Tamara Adelman Think Tank Marilyn Ringer Dawn Dream, Merida Mindful Brett Stout Four Walls and a White Notebook Fayroze Lutta Let Me Clear My Throat Before I Begin Neila Mezynski Gold Wild Beast

Cover Art “Sorry Morrissey, This Light Goes Out� by Brett Stout Brett Stout is a 33-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and Paramedic. He creates art while mainly hung-over from a small cramped apartment in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Jeffrey Park Game for Two Games that you and I can play – how about the Lion Tamer, you spread my jaws and fearlessly thrust your head into my gaping mouth – or the Hardboiled Egg, juggle me, blow on me, smack me down hard and roll me back and forth on a flat surface – or the Strip of Textured Wallpaper, size me up, shake me straight, press me firmly against the wall, smooth out all my bumps and bubbles. But you shake your head irritably and so it will be the same game as last night and the night before, the Extremely Cerebral American novel, and you’ll work your way through me, not really enjoying me that much but relishing the feeling of cognitive enrichment, secure in the knowledge that you won’t be embarrassed at the monthly meeting of the Suburban Ladies’ Book Club, whose members can be so Booker Prize snobby. And though we’ve played this game a hundred times, I don’t really mind indulging you again, because eventually you’ll fall asleep on your back,

light still on, me lying open on your breast, your steady breathing gently stirring my pages, my spine cracking pleasurably with every rise and fall.

Jeffrey Park's poetry has appeared most recently in Subliminal Interiors, Right Hand Pointing, Eye to the Telescope, The Speculative Edge, and various anthologies. His digital chapbook, "Inorganic," is available online from White Knuckle Press, and his poem "Hard To Reach" has been nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize. A native of Baltimore, Jeffrey now lives in Munich, Germany, where he works at a private secondary school. Links to all of his published work can be found at Scribbles and Dribbles.

Cheryl Diane Kidder Pi 1. “What do you see when you look over there?” Joe asked Meredith. She didn’t want to answer. The answering would hurt him, make him see how disappointed she’d become. And it would convince him he’d been right. He had predicted he couldn’t hold her. He made her wait a year before they even lived in the same state, another year before they married. She wouldn’t tell him now that five years later all she could think about was what was over there, across the bar, leaning against a lamp pole outside, walking by on the way to the john -- men. Any men really would do -- but especially one who would look at her too long, glance down at her legs, shift in his chair and maybe take a long drink -- all without moving his eyes from her. She longed to be seen, to be an object again, to be one of the made-up, short-skirted brigade that men like this look at, looked up and down, maybe walked up to, talked to, danced with, took home and fucked and left in the morning. She wanted to be one with the species again, back in the game, a contender. She wanted to feel sad again after a bad night with the wrong guy. She wanted to feel panicky for two weeks wondering if she’d get her period again. She wanted to pour her heart out to her journal about all the bad men treating her like shit. But that just wasn’t possible any more. She’d met Joe. She’d done it the right way this one time -didn’t sleep with him right away. Put it off. Made him wait. She hadn’t been that attracted to him. But he kept coming around. Two years later they’re married. Five years after that she’s looking at men in the bar like she’s starving and hasn’t had a decent meal in months. “I see my old life over there,” she said. “If I was here by myself I’d be making myself miserable waiting for one of these guys to come over and talk to me.” “Men are idiots.” This is his big trick, she thinks. He puts himself down to make me think I’m something great and that suddenly he doesn’t look so bad. “I hate it when you do that,” she tells him. “What? What’d I do?” He gives her a sheepish grin.

“If we were sleeping together, I wouldn’t mind being married so much.” “Ouch.” He squints at her. “That hurt. I think we’re getting closer. Better. Don’t you?” She’s staring at the men in the bar, amazed at herself that so much bad experience can still leave her optimistic. “It’s OK,” she tells him. “I’m still young enough to have a life when you kick the bucket.” She grins. “I’ll just start dating younger men.” “I’m a younger man,” he reminds her. “I mean, like twenty years younger. You know, passion, stamina, sex drive, interest.” “Hard bodies, no brains. They’ll have their way with you then dump you for a nineteen-year old.” “So could you.” He laughs. “If I can’t keep you interested, what’s a nineteen-year old going to see in me?” “Father fixation. It’s textbook. You’re even getting the gray hair they love so much.” “How do you know what they love so much?” “Aside from once being a nineteen-year old at one point, I’ve listened to your daughter.” “Megan? She only goes for the twenty-four year old gas station jockeys.” “Oh, not at all. Coming back from vacation last summer, you were sleeping, but she mentioned to me what a hunk she thought our steward was.” “My God, that guy was my age.” “Exactly.” “And gay, of course.” “Well, nobody said Megan had a discerning eye.” “Think I’m going to be sick.” “Just be glad she lives in New York. If she was out here you’d have to suffer through all her paramours.” “Oh God.” He orders another drink. “But we digress.” “Oh yes, let’s do get back to how much I’ve let you down.” “Yes, let’s.” They both sip their drinks aggressively. She looks up at a new man who just sat down across the bar. “See him?” “Which one? The skinny one with the bad hair?”

“No, the new one in the white shirt. I’d probably go home with him.” “Perfect.” She stops speaking to imagine what it would be like picking up the man in the white shirt. “Would you fuck him the first night?” “Oh yes, absolutely. Right away.” “No hesitation, no worry about AIDS, or babies.” “No. Not at all. I’d be ready. I’d be prepared and so would he.” “So it would be a prepared type of passion.” “Well, passion, yes. But no worries. We’re both adults, we know why we’re here. Blah, blah, blah.” “Blah, blah, blah?” “Yes. I don’t want to give you all the details. Screws up my fantasy.” “Well, how come you can have fantasies when we’re out and I can’t?” “Because if you look at other women when we’re out I’ll leave you.” He laughs. “Now, that’s a double standard.” “I don’t care. That’s how it is.” “Well, that’s not fair.” “No. You not fucking me for two years is what’s not fair.” Now he can’t speak, so he drinks some more. “The man in the white shirt is most likely married, but I don’t care because I’m married too. We see each other at the same time and instantly know what will happen next.” “You’ll go out back and suck his dick?” “That’s between him and me.” “And whoever happens to be walking by.” “Leave us alone.” “That’s easy enough.” “We’ll be responding to our primal urges.” “He looks primeval all right.” “We won’t have to say a word.” “He probably has a hairy chest too.” “I will accept him as he is, faults and all.” “So, you going over there now, or what?” “This is a fantasy. This isn’t real life.”

“Right. I forgot.” “His wife doesn’t understand him.” “I can understand that.” “She’s not into experimentation.” “You mean like blowjobs in the back seat?” “And ever since the second baby she just hasn’t been interested in him as a man.” “I think I’m starting to feel for this guy.” “He won’t care that I’m not young any more or that I’m not the prettiest girl on the block.” “He’s just looking to put his twenty bucks down, right?” “He’s just looking for a kindred spirit if only for one magical, incredible night.” “That’ll be twenty bucks, M’am.” “Our souls will interlock and we’ll know what heights are possible between two human beings. He will touch my soul and I will touch his. And maybe we’ll never see each other again, but we will be richer for the experience.” Joe drains his beer. Meredith keeps staring at the man in the white shirt until Joe stands up, stretches and touches her arm. “Ready?” he asks her. “Yup,” she answers, reaching down for her purse. “We need milk for tomorrow morning?” “Yeah. And I think I’m all out of deodorant.” They walk out of the bar, out to their car. 2a. Joe I’d made too many bad choices already. Into my thirties and never been married. That didn’t mean I hadn’t had any kids though. Just one. One was plenty. Especially when you make the mistake of having a kid with the wrong person. Well, the state of New York is taking care of that. Not that I wouldn’t have myself, on my own. I love Megan, but let me tell you, your life changes when you have a kid before you’re twenty-one. Ever since Megan I just steered clear of women with those “baby” eyes. It’s not too tough. Just adopt a certain level of feminism myself -- yes, I believe a woman should have a career and put off her

biological imperative as long as humanly possible. At least as long as they’re with me. Worked nice up to now. The serial monogamy thing didn’t seem like such a bad deal until I met Meredith. It was a long distance thing at first. Met her in California when I was out on vacation, getting away from Suzanne to tell the truth. We’d moved in together six months prior. What a mistake. She was twenty-four, had just broken up with the love of her life. So she comes crying to me. Guess I looked good at some point. But she was spending more and more nights away from home -- or what we called a home. So when Meredith started coming around, well, she was older, more established, could hold down a job longer than six weeks and I wouldn’t be embarrassed to introduce her to the folks back home, you know? By the time I left California, I knew it was over with Suzanne and I knew I had to see Meredith again. 2b. Meredith What I liked about Joe was that he was just as fucked up as I was. We’d both made bad choices in our past, only his past was still living in his house back east. I mean, I understood him. My last boyfriend had been ten years younger than me too. Of course the little we saw of each other that first two weeks, nothing happened. I knew he was living with someone, plus he lived in New York for Christ’s sake. What am I going to do with that? Oh, he seemed interested and all, but really we just sort of hung out with friends. I didn’t even know they were having a problem. Not until later when we started talking on the phone at night and writing letters. And really, when I met Joe, I’d gotten to a place in my life where I just decided that all I really wanted from a man was a good fuck, so why not just admit that, go for it and don’t be disappointed when that’s all it turns out to be. I’d had periods like this before. Relationships were out, pure animal lust was all I was interested in. It’s a very liberating feeling. I could walk into any bar after work, scope the place out, have a couple drinks, pick two or three possibles and make a game out of it. I’d circulate to different tables, see who had the best small talk, the best arms, eyes, hair. Get one of them out on the dance floor to see if they could move at all and then retire to the back seat of their car. Course, if I took too long in choosing, I’d get pretty hazy with the beer, but either way I’d get off and the evening would be a success. No strangers in my bed, or calling me or not the next day. No expectations. No dues to pay. It was working out well for me.

Then this long distance thing started with Joe. I find myself writing these long letters and talking for hours and hours on the phone. Our phone bills were ridiculous. I mean, we’d never even fucked and were investing all this time and money. After three months of this I suggested he fly out here. It would be cheaper. So he did. By that time it was just too late. The connection was made. I didn’t want out. 3. “God, you’re taller than I remember.” Meredith, untangling from Joe’s hug at the airport gate. “We were mostly sitting on barstools before, I guess.” Joe didn’t want to take his hands away from her and didn’t -- let one hand trail lightly on the small of her back as they turned and headed to the baggage carousel. “It’s the oddest feeling, seeing you here now. After, you know, talking and all. Well, writing too. I don’t know.” Meredith felt herself stumbling. Had she been this attracted to him before? She saw him as a stranger and as the person who knew her best. It was like her brain couldn’t do the math. “Do you feel like we’re strangers?” he asked her, not sure which answer to hope for, knowing her history, wanting to be what she wanted. “Well, totally. Physically, anyway. I mean, I feel like I know you, intimately. But only in my head, you know? It’s weird.” The baggage carousel clicked around in its loop, completely empty. They stood next to the wall, ill at ease in their bodies. Then she made the decision. She leaned into him, put her hand on his chest and kissed the side of his face, just by his ear. He looked at her and smiled. He’d never been one to show affection in public. He put his arm back around her waist to hold her closer. They had talked about this moment -- meeting again, for the first time. How frightened they both were that they might disappoint the other. He knew how physically demanding she’d been in the past. She knew how much older she was -- how young Suzanne had been. Luggage appeared on the carousel. First, one or two plain black suitcases, then a navy duffel, then a backpack. “You want to go get something to eat, then?” she asked him. He hoisted his bag from the moving track, slipped his arm back around her waist. “Lead the way.”

Cheryl Diane Kidder has a B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her work, nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize, has appeared or is forthcoming in: CutThroat Magazine, Weber--The Contemporary West, Pembroke Magazine, decomP Magazine, Tinge Magazine, Brevity Magazine, Brain,Child, Identity Theory, In Posse Review, and elsewhere. For a full listing, see TrueWest.

David McAleavey Sunday They

- note written to show Lil what it seemed she was saying

Driving away from my place I noticed two well-dressed older women on my block, one waiting on the sidewalk while the other approached a neighbor’s house, bending and reaching, holding something light in her hand. When I got home later that day I found a flyer tucked nearly invisibly into the crack between front door and jamb. There was an image of crucified Jesus, and I’m sorry, church ladies, but I dumped it in the recycling. In between I’d visited a friend rehabbing from a brainstem stroke. She’s working on swallowing, speaking, trying to move the half of her face and body frozen when a breakout from an overworked vessel damaged tissue it had till then bathed with life. By “bathed with life” I am referring to the little bio I learned in high school, how through osmosis waste leaves living cells and joins the bloodstream – erythrocytes, leukocytes, and plasma pushed in pulses, dropping off oxygen and nutrients, picking up the trash.

Sort of a food truck and garbage truck simultaneously, selling tacos, samosas, or crêpes, maybe all three, with easy-to-read bins for tossing paper, cans, bottles here, and nasty smelly stuff there. Only, if you’re a cell, you have to have your shit lined up and be ready to order. I know resurrection is not the same as recycling or cellular metabolism. It’s a mystery, resurrection, one of those notions my poor little brain can’t resolve, one of those puzzles that used to stress me out and now has just taken its place on a shelf of curiosities, a shelf that seems to be infinitely long, or at least unending so far, a shelf where I keep so many wonderful things, friends from childhood vanished beyond the reach of Facebook, even a first wife, and grandparents so devout their prayer books and Bibles survive on actual shelves in my house. The health of those forebears, though, their routines and desires, there’s no shelf for all that, no osmosis to spiff it up, no rehab like what’s helping Lil. I can imagine them smiling. That’s as far as I can go.

David McAleavey has had work in many journals over many years, ranging from Ron Silliman’s mimeo mag Tottel’s in the early 1970’s through Ploughshares, Poetry and The Georgia Review; since early 2010 he has had over a hundred poems and prose poems accepted/published by Epoch, Poetry Northwest, Denver Quarterly, Birmingham Poetry Review, diode poetry journal,, FRiGG, Stand, Drunken Boat, and dozens of others. Pirene’s Fountain awarded him their Editors’ Prize for the best poem in their publication in 2011; in 2012, Convergence presented an "Editor’s Choice" special feature of his poems; and in 2013, New Delta Review has included one of his prose poems in their "best of the web" anthology. His fifth and most recent book is HUGE HAIKU (317 pp., Chax Press, Tucson, 2005). He teaches literature and creative writing at George Washington University in D.C.

Tamara Adelman Think Tank An Essay

Today at the Santa Monica Swim Center the pool is crowded—there are ten thousand waves—and the water is murky from too much chlorine. A guy swims over me as I turn at the wall. I want to grab his throat but I don’t, because even though there are lane lines, I refuse to have road rage in the pool just because somebody swims like that. Besides, he may not have seen me. My shoulders are tight, and I’m clunky from sleep as I reach my arm above my head at what would be 12 o’clock. I slap my hand in the water at 4 o’clock to pull myself forward, like my body is a vessel and my arm is an oar. It takes me a while to find my place in the water. Thoughts in my head seem big, like they are under a zoom lens, but as I swim lap after lap, the landscape of my mind takes a long view. There is a wide-open space there in the cubicle of water, and I know exactly where I am. My breath is part of my movement, and the configuration of my arms, legs, head, and torso feels organized. I don’t know what it is about pools: they are boxes of water. I once saw a New Yorker cartoon that said, “I do my best thinking inside the box.” The character was inside a box with notes written all over the walls of the box. I’ve found that’s true. Once you put something inside a box, it becomes more interesting. What’s in the box, we want to know. Is it for me? Boxes organize, store, and contain things. They are easy to label, even if the label says “miscellaneous.” When you swim, you are in a literal think tank. The relationship between swimming and thinking is an inverse one: the more you swim, the less you think. Thinking outside the box is overrated. I swim a lot, I’m a triathlete in almost constant training, so I know. I swim for hours. People say, “How can you swim like that; are you a fish or something? Don’t you get bored?” To move through water is easy; it’s a forgiving medium, a foil to gravity. Water smoothes out the rough spots in your body and brain. The brain waves slow down as they do during certain cycles of sleep, and alpha waves—the link between the conscious and subconscious mind—are activated.

Water has no fixed points, so I have to make them up. But before I know it, the water is gone; it’s somewhere behind me, never to be found again. That is what “fluid” means—always changing. I let go without even trying. I wish everything in life was so easy to let go. I emerge, having left everything inside the box. I have a softer demeanor and a less furrowed brow when walking to the parking lot, as if I’ve been recombobulated.

Tamara Adelman is the a massage therapist, triathlete, and freelance writer living in Santa Monica, California. She has a B.A. from George Washington University. Devoted to training and traveling, she has competed in Ironman races in Brazil, South Africa, the Canary Islands, and Europe. Equally devoted to developing her writing, she has attended the Taos Writers Conference and has completed the Creative Nonfiction Certificate Program at UCLA. As a freelance writer, her work focuses on travel, fitness, and action sports. She can be found most days looking out at the Santa Monica Bay, as she writes the next story or trains for the next race—in passionate pursuit of perfection: the finish line. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Amarillo Bay, Clackamas Literary Review, Ducts, Foliate Oak, Folly, Forge, Hospital Drive Magazine, International Walk Review, North Dakota Quarterly, RiverSedge, This I Believe, Toasted Cheese Literary Magazine, Verdad, and Waterski.

Marilyn Ringer Dawn Dream Merida

Buttons fasten one time to another. Shattered fragments, a mosaic grouted in the night. Give me water flowing through to float the raft of ache and circumstance. Ten thousand fan-tailed grackles fracture light. Bells intone the call to prayer. Pipe exhaust and strident brakes conspire with horns, muting God’s insectos chorus. insectos: a Yucatecan colloquialism for the grackles

Marilyn Ringer Mindful

Detached from seasonal deadlines, foregoing the brimming grocery cart, at the edge of the world, I am quiet. Winter extends her white-tipped fingers, taps my window.

Marilyn Ringer was born in Oklahoma, and she now resides in northern California. She received a BA in Social Sciences and an MA in Experimental Psychology, both from Southern Methodist University. She has been a chef and restauranteur, a poetteacher with California's Poets In The Schools, and a teacher of adult creative writing workshops. During the summer, she spends extended time on Monhegan Island in Maine where she writes with a group of women who are artists, teachers, Gestalt therapists, and gardeners as well as writers. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod; Drumvoices Revue; Eclipse; Left Curve; Red Wheelbarrow Literary Magazine; Hawai'I Pacific Review; Sanskrit; Porcupine; Wisconsin Review; The Evansville Review; Cairn; Bayou; decomP; The Cape Rock; ellipsis; The Hurricane Review; Limestone; The MacGuffin; Mochila Review; Oregon East; Phantasmagoria; Poet Lore; Assissi; Reed Magazine; poemmemoirstory (PMS); River Oak Review; Westview; Willard & Maple; Folio; The Griffin; RiverSedge; Willow Review; The Binnacle; Diverse Voices Quarterly; Chico News & Review; Slant; Studio One; Eclectica; Quiddity Literary Journal; Clackamas Literary Review; Xavier Review; Watershed; Iodine Poetry Journal; ByLine; California Quarterly; Milk Money; Pisgah Review; Schuylkill Valley Journal; Sierra Nevada College Review; Squaw Valley Review; Pearl; Taproot Literary Review; Tar Wolf Review; Wild Violet; "Poet's Cove, An Anthology: Monhegan in Poetry," 2000-2002 (New Monhegan Press, 2003); "The Art of Monhegan Island" (Down East Press, 2004); "Chico Poets, A Calendar for 2005" (Bear Star Press, 2004); and her chapbook "Island Aubade" (Finishing Line Press, 2012).

Brett Stout Four Walls and a White Notebook I watch the world from here in the inside. Only cracks reveal the reality. The doors are open and the shades are closed. I watch and wait from here on the inside. I’m not a very patient boy though. Pants are becoming boring so I just sit here naked most of the time. I leave now and then, but only for the essentials, coffee and smokes and water and food. I don’t say anthing to anyone when I do leave though. No one notices me leave and no one notices me enter. I wrap myself in plastic and burn the days away. The pain is there, but numbed by ice and Neosporin. I watch them having fun out there and I’m still not jealous. I just sit on the couch and watch TV from here on the inside.

Brett Stout is a 33-year-old artist and writer. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and Paramedic. He creates art while mainly hung-over from a small cramped apartment in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Fayroze Lutta Let Me Clear My Throat Before I Begin

Let me clear my throat before I begin... One of these days it will be with meth. I need my Benzedrine fix. I need some sort of medicated-codeine-high-octane-behind-the-counter-legit-smack-kind-a-shit. And so I found myself walking... It was still light out surprisingly as the days fall away too fast, by 5pm it’s like midnight out. I happened upon Lisa. I think I could be her some days, sitting next to her begging on a street corner so we could buy a packet of cigarettes together and split the ends. Lisa was anxious she kept telling me she had to go change her coins into a note to make it something more manageable. I imagine it is less embarrassing at the tobacconist than to arrive splaying a mountain of dirty silver coins on to the countertop. Furthermore I imagine it would be to buy those cheap and nasty ones. The Chinese cigarettes that feel like you have smoked asbestos filled fibreglass through a plastic straw. That afternoon was different an older gentleman was passing by and recognised Lisa. He came and sat in between us on the bench. Purposefully he didn't say his name and he wasn't letting me in on it either. He was well dressed - a navy blue blazer-white shirt and leather boating shoes. I was confused with what sort of pants he was wearing. Until Lisa posed the question, “why he had blue ski pants on?” He replied that he “slept outside these days.” It was winter so he came cut-corrected in his ski apparel and added that he had made in the passing days, maybe weeks months or even years “the decision to live in his clothes.” I liked this guy. He told us that he had to go into the bottle shop and would be back. Lisa then left to go make other peoples small coined offerings into a note. The gentleman returned, I told him Lisa would be back shortly. He sat down next to me. I asked him what he had bought; he told me it was a bottle of, “Southern Comfort.” It only seemed apt all so fitting living in the city of the South under these southern skies and it was that other word as well that hovered and resonated in the air- comfort. It seemed to spell it all out for me – my mood. I guess it is what we all look for is comfort. To fill that void inside us that we no longer fill with the love of god and he had found his in his glass bottle filled up with amber liqueur like spirits. The effect

temporary never permanent always wearing off. Perhaps like returning to his mother’s breast nuzzling into the warm and golden licks. I wish I could do that give into something completely with disregard for all other things. I have behaved like this on occasion and believe in addiction there is a relinquishing of living in prescribed modern terms but it is a love affair or liaison with nihilism that ends in fatalism giving into oblivion but I argue that we all must die someday. I always imagined I would meet my end by being unceremoniously hit by a car. One night in a drunken state I found the location. I recall the lure of the flashing lights of the heavy traffic on the corner of Beauchamp and Oxford Streets. That night on that corner it seemed all so tempting to do such a simple act as to put one foot in front of the other and step into the heavy moving metal. It was obvious the gentleman had a gambling problem and was on the drink as well. I imagine black jack not the misery of the poker machines with their flashing lights and buzz-cock-high-pitched- ringingin-your-ears-giving-you-a-headache. He took the large hip flask sized glass bottle out of the paper bag wrapping and slowly unscrewed the lid. He then mentioned if he drank it all in one he would be paralytic he snarled a laugh. He had enough social graces to say, “Cheers,” to me and made a gesture with the bottle up towards the sky. I said, "Santé," he then usurped me and one better and said, "Saluté." He placed the bottle to his mouth, his southern comfort, his comfort, his mother’s glass nipple. He titled his head back slightly he didn’t gulp or swallow the amber bourboneque-syrup just flowed down trickling down his throat. He had mastered this motion, this ritual, his throat didn't hesitate either it was waiting for this moment. I felt I was a party to his misdeeds and impending paralysis. I couldn't stop myself I had to say something I said “woo-oh.” He stopped and looked at me. I looked at the bottle he had drunk about one-eighth. I felt relieved in that moment that Lisa had returned. They now both felt awkward around me and left together. Lisa hadn't made enough money for a $5 note. I couldn't follow them they were trying to get away from me for fucks sake. I knew all too well that I was not low brow enough to beg with them too well dressed with my hair still wet hair from the shower. At least they could see till the bottom of the bottle or until they made enough coins to make that five dollar note in their hand and they would have company. Unlike me they both knew exactly where they were going. I knew as well, the corner of High Street and Belmore Road just outside the Night Owl. It was obvious that I wasn't invited. Evidently too much like a tourist in their waking world.

Fayroze has been a bad waitress, a horrible barista, a very green optimistic graduate Urban Planner, then a hardened bitter nihilistic Urban Planner. Her only real home is her Olivetti typewriter (onto which she pours all her emotions, between being blind drunk, smoking thousands of Gauloises cigarettes and occasionally sniffing an oily rag to help her stay upright and stabbing.

Neila Mezynski Gold

Bent low with indecision, care. A sweep of hand silver finger and all. On straight wrist produce sweet, touching nose on key. Chopin. Fly.

Neila Mezynski Wild Beast He slipped into the piano bench as if a suit of clothes. With whip in hand, back upright no curly hair or nose on keys. Only winced to make a point. Chopin.

Neila Mezynski is author of "Glimpses and A Story" (2013) from Scrambler Books; pamphlets from Greying Ghost Press; echapbooks from Radioactive Moat Press and Patasola Press; chapbooks from Folded Word Press, "Men Who Understand Girls," (2012), Nap Chapbook, "Floaters," (2012); Deadly Chaps Press, "Dancers On Rock," (2011), "Warriors," (2013), Mondo Bummer, "Meticulous Man "(2012), Mud Luscious Press, "At The Beach" (2011).

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