EMERGE LITERARY JOURNAL ISSUE THREE AUGUST 2012
Emerge Literary Journal Issue Three August 2012 Edited by Ariana D. Den Bleyker Collection Copyright 2012 by Emerge Literary Journal All Rights Reserved By Individual Authors ISSN 2166-2266
Cover Art, "Ebay," Copyright Eleanor Leonne Bennett All Other Photography, "My Queen" Eleanor Leonne Bennett; "Street View," Sarah Edwards; "Jonz Beach," Sarah Esteme; and, "Shaft," Gulnar Tuli
Contents Thomas Pescatore Alethea Kehas
Post Title Doe Beside the Road
Leslie Marie Aguilar
William Hoffacker Mira Martin-Parker Lisa Mecham Heather McGrew M.N. O'Brien Nathaniel Lanman Matthew Brennan Melina Papadopoulos Todd Outcalt Jenny Burkholder Stephen Rosenshein
On a Guided Tour of the Lourve, You See the Venus de Milo Move Leaving Early Reservoir Mapmaking: A Prayer Up Napolean's Staircase atlantic The Fire Keeper Of Half Hearts and Whole Milk Kilimanjaro Motion's Design To Mom and Dad
In Bed with All of Them
Choral of cardinal directions
Rich Larson Deonte Osayande
Your Mind Playing Tricks on Me Passed Down Practices
Sarah Adair Patty Somlo
Unfortunates When She Went Back There
The Old Greenhouse in the Woods
Peter Friedman Joshua Grant
Milk, Honey, Indigestion It and the Other One
Into Autumn Morning
Dawn Schout Anton Frost
The Side of the Road normal song
The World Under the Table
Shona McGarry Eileen Ni Shuilleabhain Lauren Yates
Salt Mine Anniversary Poem in Ten Parts
52 Haiku of a Woman Soldier
Bill Wolak Marjorie Sadin
5 Haiku Diary of Psychiatric Medications Taken By Patient MS
Thomas Pescatore Post Title There's paint slapped onto my sky, thick like an impression on my aching—scratch ink into leather bound sketch journal one long poem out of love, want to take road poem and turn that into novella that's effortlessly sad but beautiful and bring back those days roaring through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois—breakfast, sausage gravy—bat factory—beer— Dave and Joe up front and me studying maps in the back, shouting directions—no GPS bullshit, horseshit—doing it ourselves, it's been three months—three million years, the crops are shriveled junk melted down and shot into our arms, the city is torn down about my knees—I've nothing left but survival and words
Alethea Kehas Doe Beside the Road The dogs found it first, pulling to feral scent of decay, while I was stuck in the grasp of dreams. The chestnut body under the oak tree quickened my heart. One cloud-eye open to death, tomato-colored blood dyeing decaying leaves too orange beside the doe laid to rest. Rest. I wonder if death was instant upon impact. Did her soul find home inside a landscape of stars Black December night too cold to hold pollution. You can see stars inside Orionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s belt, my husband said while a doe ran to make a nest out of leaves and wait the break of morning. A driver heads home distracted and tired perhaps after heralding late the holidays with friends Two paths under a starry sky intersect at impact. A crossroads of fate becomes the stop of the engine; stop of a heart, as a still soft body is pulled across asphalt with the tremor of two hands
Noah Kucij Celestun This island is not our island. This tongue, which darts to the thought, the thing, like the militant pelicans browsing for fish, is not our tongue. These roads are studded bracelets of houses not our houses, bakeries and harbors where the work is not our work. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not our lives. But this is our life, my bird, my beautiful beast. We go and we gather, we work, we ache, we spend. We try our mouths at melons and chilies and names for the streets that will take us back into ourselves by letting us once be lost, once found, my bead, my bread, my boat.
Phyllis Klein On Grief The San Francisco Caltrain leaves its station, pulls toward a universe of destinations. It’s raining large drops that leach the dirt’s misery into the earth, like bones giving their exteriors over to broth. The rain rises back to the ocean as skies become a darkened pillow. Tomorrow, more trains will climb their tracks, more minutes will evaporate into ether. The whistles bluster in loneliness, fear. Our cruel mothers, the vinegar taste of disease, lost children and lovers— trembling, the train’s heart pounds through us, and this grief that will never leave carries us, to wander off into the storm.
Leslie Marie Aguilar Thirty (for Big O) The day a boy becomes a man takes thirty years I heard someone say to an old man with wrinkles folded into his green eyes, like the veins of the leaves I wore in my hair the day we met. Now, I wake up every morning to the strength of his grandson’s arms pulling me closer into himself, like the quilts that swallow me during the night. That September night when I wasn’t sleeping the frigid air, as a final breath, was enough to contain the silence of his mother’s breathless words. I pretended not to hear ‘Gone’, but he was like a child again in my arms as I cradled his head, like the babies he hoped I would carry. In my hands I held his sticky face, hot with tears, shed over a man who was his father’s father: a foundation for the family that called him Paw Paw− in Strawn where grass grows higher than basset hound legs, the chain link fence was built to keep the children in. Today that boy is a child learning to become a man. He learns that absence is pressure mounting in his lungs, making it harder to breathe. During the night as I fold myself into his shaking body, his jaw clenches in response to an anger misplaced onto an absent god. That boy waiting to become a man, remembers me saying he needed to be thirty (it would be easier if he were thirty.)
Jay Sizemore Oblivious Deity The Milky Way is a blood cell flowing through the arteries of a man dreaming about stars, someone who likes their coffee black, prefers books to smell like pipe smoke and old basements. He thinks population is the greatest version of a pyramid scheme, a chain reaction of instincts and lusts worn like perfumes. The watch on his wrist did not fall from the heavens, with gears and wheels turning the hands in synchronized time, like the phases of distant moons, yet he washes his hands before every meal. He could not build a life-sized replica of the sunset, could not masturbate into the desert and create an ocean, but a paper cut could make galaxies collide.
Josh Callum Already Elsewhere There is no changing of seasons in the electric city, only the humming indoors pockmarking the night so orange. All the pictures of famous people light our way home or to theirs, guiding us with false beauty so perfect, so impossible, that it hurts and already they begin to look lost and lonely. We breathe the exhaust of a thousand ghosts, the people we love to keep them alive in our chest and they scatter into the glass and metal and radio waves bouncing through our bones.
William Hoffacker On a Guided Tour of the Louvre, You See the Venus de Milo Move Somewhere between the statue of Diana and the Mona Lisa, your tour group stops at the Venus de Milo, a gleaming white figure on a marble pedestal that towers above its thirty-some onlookers. With your headset, you hear the French tour guide speak in her mangled English about the missing plinth and the mystery of who sculpted this masterpiece. You stare into the statue’s eyes and wonder, Is this the oldest thing I’ve ever seen? Sunlight pours through three tall windows and reflects off the stone, making it glow. You imagine what happened to the statue’s arms, and for some reason you picture them lying in a grassy field somewhere, untouched yet preserved, lost like two puzzle pieces that fell out of the box. You ask yourself what really happened to them over centuries, whether they eroded into dust until someone breathed them in. You think you saw a beer commercial once where two dudes broke off the arms because her hands held Bud Lights. You imagine a half-nude armless woman posing for the sculptor and you chuckle. For a moment you wonder if you could make love to such a woman, holding someone without being held, and you don’t like how it makes you feel lonely. Your eyes hover on the statue’s bare breasts, and you compare them with those you’ve seen and touched. Tina’s breasts were bigger than these, almost too big, so big that your hands looked small against them. The statue’s breasts are full, not like Lisa’s limp pair that felt like half the air had been let out of two sagging balloons. Sandra’s breasts were lopsided, so different in cup size that she had to order bras from a specialty site online, whereas the Venus’s look nicely proportioned. You want to reach up and cradle the stone breasts. You imagine the sunlight might make them feel warm, almost alive. Near the base of the statue, the tour guide babbles into her microphone, spouting dates and mispronouncing words like century. She says, “Let’s keep up the movement, shall we,” and you switch off the little radio hooked to your waist because you’re not ready to leave the room. You wish you could get some peace, but you have
to put up with the chatter of dozens of other visitors, all talking at once in French, English, and who knows what else. You imagine sneaking in here after dark. You long for a private audience with the statue—just you and the Venus, for hours if you want. You’re admiring the waves of her hair, the way they swirl together like the folds of a cinnamon bun, when it happens. For less than a second, her head turns slightly, maybe a centimeter, away from you. You expect everyone to gasp or scream, but no one reacts at all. Either you were the only one who saw it, or it didn’t happen. And you know it happened because the shadow cast by her nose is a little longer, and because you can see a single curl of hair you didn’t before, and because you saw it happen. Before you know what to do, you remember the time your mother came home from Sunday Mass at St. Mel’s and said, “I saw a miracle.” While the priest consecrated the bread and wine, she said, she looked at the life-sized crucifix on the wall behind the altar and saw Jesus’ body sag an inch lower, like he meant to slide down from the cross. You laughed and asked, “Why didn’t you tell Father Frasier?” She told you she was afraid, that it might be a bad omen. You told her, “I believe you think you saw it,” but you wouldn’t believe it really happened. Now, you think, How much will it cost to call her at home in Trenton? What time it is there? How long will it take to get back to the hotel and pick up the phone? You imagine how you’ll tell her the story—and only her, because you, too, are afraid—and you pray for relief when she listens and believes.
Mira Martin-Parker Leaving Early This is no time for that sort of thing, the sort of looks and actions that come late in life, like the movement of hips—their subtle sway through the aisles. One should talk softly amongst the cubicles. One should look long into the metal drawers, peering in at the pushpins, the pens, the binder clips. Whisper softly, I’m in a conference call and there’s someone on hold. Organize the central files. I’m expecting a package from Fedex. Water the plants by the window. The email was sent earlier in the day, without the attachment, without a subject line. Someone forgot to clean their coffee cup in the lunchroom. Someone forgot to put a post-it on their cube—Gone for the afternoon, for the day, for the rest of the week. Shit, I sent it to the printer. But which one? And of all things, it had to be that email. The one that should never should have been written. The one that never should have been thought. What color is thought anyway? The color of industrial carpeting.
Lisa Mecham Reservoir The morning you almost died I woke to find your madness at the foot of our bed. Sitting in the space your legs made with their crisscross, scrawled on the pages that kept you up all night. Look, you said (fanning the pages over and over and over again), I filled this with the story of us. Then you crawled to me and said (as if you were talking about which shirt you would wear), I should drive off the road on my way to work. I shook you off and said (as this was the first time your mania and I were making acquaintance), donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be silly, I need to get the girls ready for school. So I roused them and fixed cheerios and waffles and eggs and (you didn't say goodbye when you left the house) as I cut through the flesh of a ripe banana, I saw you. Driving faster and faster along that road by the reservoir where we would sometimes walk, the four of us. Where you skipped stones for our girls to their delight (the ripple extending out, growing wider and wider, then gone). I grabbed the phone to call you, to stop you (the whispers between each ring were like the trees beckoning) and you answered on the last one.
Heather McGrew Mapmaking: A Prayer I. Uncertainty I plot many futures in bed tonight: an expert formula for insomnia. Maybe I will teach, research, marry young, bear children, fly to Africa, buy a fenced-in home in Suburbia. Or perhaps I will answer phones at a reception desk, take notes for executives who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know my name. II. Certainty Days will pass. Sometimes I will bite into a blue-raspberry popsicle, stain my fingers red making strawberry pie, sit on the porch with Dawn and burn citronella candles to chase the mosquitoes away, lie about the snow when winter comes and make angels with the sweeping of my arms and legs.
M. N. O'Brien Up Napoleon’s Staircase After the Jacques-Louis David painting “Napoleon at his Study” Napoleon commanding the staircase leading to my pornographic nightmares. All the Number One Movies in America beg not to be devoured or at least survive long enough to brandish an escape from the black stretch of silhouettes and shadows, plunging into the light of day. The best ones claim dreams make life heinous and livable. But why am I mentioning motion pictures? They swim into my skull as I ascend, baited by monotony. There was a story on today, how a man was killed by another. Involuntary of course, I don’t think he planned to be killed on accident. There I go again, up Napoleon’s Staircase, for he owns what he commands, I look for a place to place my feet and say to the back of my friend’s head “next time I see you, I will cut your hair.” The wooden steps creak, I notice the nails at each end, some driven in farther than others. Perhaps there was thicker wood, or another nail lodged in, that halted the progress of the other. David’s Bonaparte at his cluttered study, watching above the railing, dismally aware of my distractions, with a hidden hand. It is 4:13, so I make my way under his boyish stare up to where the bitch is waiting, ignoring the zip-line between my temples, behind my eyes guiding by the gas glow moonlight
seen through the window through the open door. I finally wonder if everyone wears shoes to be somebody, when the dancer destroys her toe for my attention. Blood blossoms through her white sock.
Nathaniel Lanman atlantic i would be lying if i said i don’t dream of you, and i’m a failed romantic, but i know i can make you smile and when you do i feel like i’ve swallowed a stone and when i can’t, i remember how i bled the carefree doe in a powdered wood. but that’s over now, which i know is good. now, in earnest, i’m waiting for only you, your yawny morning greetings from across oceans, and i imagine clear as sunlight you in an old city, while i’m sitting on a bench, brooding. i sit reading goosebump braille, the bloody bits of an ocean between us, a pigeon eating crumbs under my legs as i’m writing you letters, only because sometimes
i imagine a river in my chest, a boat beneath me, while i paddle through summer to bring you tulips in autumn, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d walk between the weeds and their ceaseless argument with the sunflowers
Matthew Brennan The Fire Keeper During this first year of the darkness, all the kids in our block looked forward to our birthdays even more than we looked forward to morning. Not every day had a birthday. And despite the little gifts we were able to make for each other, despite being allowed first choice from the stew pot at meal times, it was nightfall that the birthday girl – and the rest of us – really anticipated all day when my father, the Fire Keeper, took out his magic box, slid it open, and removed one tiny, red-tipped stick, presented it to the celebrated, and held out the strike pad on the box’s side. The gift of fire, he would tell us, all sitting in a circle, was what kept us alive, and birthdays were a celebration of that life; each child on her birthday received one little flame on its tiny stick, to do with it whatever she wished. Some held it, felt its warmth in their hands; some carried it around the circle, letting us all see it up close; others lit candles with it, to take back to their own shelters. My father had found the box, he said, the day the darkness began, dug it out of the rubble. Possessing the firesticks gave him standing in our little community, but he never used them himself, even as the Fire Keeper. He was a master, and there had yet to be a day when he couldn’t light the communal fire at dusk with a flint or with just the wood itself. I’d watched him toil over the smoking tinder in high winds; I’d watched him use his own tarp to keep his wood supply dry while he sat in the rain. But however long he left me alone in our tent, he always had the fire going by nightfall. Today is my birthday. When my father presents me with my firestick, I reach out and take both it and the box, and my father lets me because I am his. And I strike the red tip on the rough pad and feel the heat on my fingers, the glow on my face, which I know displays the same awe I have seen on every other birthday girl’s face. We are sitting around the communal stew pot, which still sits cold, the wood beneath it still damp from the morning’s rain, my father looking to have a long, frustrating evening away from me getting it lit. Shaking off the spell this tiny flame has cast over me, I stand up, step forward, and kneel beside the stew cauldron to lower the flame into the tinder. I have watched my father do this a hundred times with other wood and other flames, and know where to light. I smile as the fire takes to the hissing wood, I smile seeing my father smile, knowing that now the Fire Keeper’s task is finished early, his gift returned and returned again because tonight I’ll have him to myself.
Melina Papadopoulos Of Half Hearts and Whole Milk I have a fear of my own heart. I don't even care if it breaks. I don't care if it stops in its tracks or lies down and falls asleep when it wants to forget me. I don't care if it attacks me in the middle of the night and leaves the autopsy table innocent. To keep me alive requires bloody hands all the time. Just stop letting it take credit for every emotion I express. My mind needs a chance to cry and my hands want a say in piecing my prayers together. --A Sunday school mantra: David, whole heart Solomon, half-heart Saul, no heart David, whole heart Solomon, half-heart Saul, no heart I just want to bow my head and say this to God a couple dozen times. I'd wait for him to give me a lesson on the anatomy of faith, the circulatory system in particular. David, whole heart. Worships in the atria and confesses in the ventricles. Solomon, half-heart. God's love kept in four dimly lit chambers. Sings his hymns deep in thought without a candle. Saul, no heart. Kept his blood on the throne. Found heart is worth more when it's not yours. -When my grandparents stopped taking me to Sunday school, I began to think of the state of any heart in terms of milk and the moons in the almanac.
Whole. Half. Full. Crescent, gibbous, two-percent. No moon, no heart. There was one moonless night I wanted to put my play-pretend stethoscope to the sky, just because I wanted to see if I could get a pulse. The stars were out; maybe I could get faint wrist pulses out of them. No pulse. I simply wandered downstairs for a late-night snack of milk and cookies. --I have a fear of my own heart. In the first grade, fearing the sternness of the gospel, I let a savior inside. But I don't know if he's fled in panic because I've crossed my heart and hoped to over so many secrets, none of which I have anymore. For all I know, he's dead and I bled every last part out of him in a bicycle wound accident. If my heart converts easily into milk or moons, my brain tells me, he could have died either a milkman or the man in the moon. But my heart would never want a cause of death, just a chance to be carried sad and heavy like a hearse. I'd say my prayers and goodbyes, but it would urge me to mourn on. --When I pray, my mind seems to take the altar, only half kneeling. When I write out a confession, my brain tips just partially to spill and my heart remains full. It's prepared for a cruel, cold, bloodless drowning.
Todd Outcalt Kilimanjaro Years ago, Carter had cruised the south Caribbean on his tenth wedding anniversary—Barbados, St. Lucia, and the island of Antigua glimmering white in the turquoise ocean. And later, with children squirming in the backseat of the Windstar van one hot July, Carter and his wife had crosshatched the continent, the family vacation dotted by visits to San Francisco, Seattle and Mount Rushmore. But nothing had prepared him, at the age of fifty-two, to be standing on the snow-dotted summit of Mauna Kea with his wife, Sue, gazing toward the gleaming Pacific. The climb had been a long time in the making, their lives hollowed by grown children, careers that had peaked and declined in the economic maelstrom, and now resurrected by the promise of the dreams they had, up until now, lived vicariously through the slick photographs they ripped from the pages of travel magazines. In fact, it was the shared vision, the quest for wonder and beauty, which had actually saved their marriage. At the summit their guide shook their hands. “Most people drive up to the visitor center before climbing the final leg on foot,” he said. “But you can say you’ve hiked from base to summit. Congratulations!” Carter and his wife embraced, their breath rising and falling in snatches of cold air that entered and exited their bodies like little ghosts. They cast their gaze toward the white domes of the observatories when, in a sudden rush, the wind caught the fabric of their parkas and fanned their scarves into dance. Above them, the sun burned but offered no heat in the altitude and the shadows strewn across the bronze Mauna Kea landscape were razor-sharp against the footpaths leading to the peak. They were not at the top of the world (unless they were counting altitude from sea bottom to summit) but it was as high as they wanted to climb in their lifetimes. Their struggles paled in comparison to the stark beauty of the islands, and as they pondered the trek back to the visitor center they understood how far they had come. “You’ve done a great job adjusting to the altitude,” their guide said. “Breathe deeply. Take your time. Enjoy.”
Indeed. They couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t speak. But their gestures and smiles were sufficient. Carter and Sue tightened their hoods and gloves, preparing for their descent, but also affirmed in the silence the dreams they hoped to dream, the paths they hoped to walk. There would be other travels, other destinations, other incredible adventures and times. The beauty would belong to the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;the sky, the mountains, the oceans, the gleaming cities. They hoped to snatch bits and pieces of it in the years to come. And now that they had endured the summit of Mauna Kea, the descent didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem so formidable. Nor did their future. They had, indeed, become acclimatized. From now on, everything in life would be simpler, just like coming down from a great height.
Jenny Burkholder Motion’s Design I suspect something’s changing by the way we unknot our blue scarves and unwrap our long winter bodies. Our eyes no longer the same mottled gray as the sky. We’re as anxious as the wind blowing new leaves and the pile of white, pink, and red blossoms under foot. Leaves spend their last days being beautiful. I’d like to spend these last days like the yellow daffodils blooming on the old Quaker graves, teaming bird’s nest perched on high branches. This light, last note in a fading aria, is deceptive. Soon it will be gone like the memory of us gazing up into sky in hopes of discovering something we had not seen before. Summer is close. I feel its push against our backs as we stand here quietly, taking in last glances before darkness, being simply beautiful.
Stephen Rosenshein To Mom and Dad Today we were in the same hemisphere. Only for a moment, but we were in the same hemisphere. I doubt you noticed. You probably didn’t think of me, but I was thinking of you. I was thinking how we were in the same hemisphere again and how you probably didn’t notice. I was thinking of you as I took pictures. I was thinking that I was taking these pictures for you. So when I stood over the equator, straddling each hemisphere and taking pictures, I was also thinking that you’d probably never really look at the pictures. You’d see the pictures, but you’d never really look at them. And that would be okay. The equator isn’t really much to write home about anyways, just a big granite monolith and some yellowing grass. I’m okay with that. I’m okay with the equator being underwhelming. I’m okay with you not really looking at the pictures. But today, I realized that while you can balance an egg on a nail at the equator, you cannot balance distance and family on anything. The two reside in opposite hemispheres, on two sides of a very real line. Today I realized that I was on the wrong side of that line. Today I realized that I could not cross it soon enough.
Isabel Sylvan In Bed With All of Them My old bed drooped-sagged in the middle where a board was cracked and the mattress tried to slip through. At eighteen my grandmother died-I inherited her bed. Neat. Clean. Fixed. It wore our coats well as I remember when we used to go into the city to see her. I bought sheets to fit a queen sized mattress and midnight blue cases to cover old pillows. I lie down in the night sky dreaming of all the stories I want to write, all the characters in my head. Each one calls, walks, stirs, has something she needs to say, something he needs to do. Each its own passion. I lie naked in this bed with them wanting only to make love to each and everyone.
Melissa Hohl Choral of cardinal directions (for Aaron Shurin, Cecilia Vicuna, Sawako Nakayasu, Brandon Brown) in our space, life is round reverted memories, we whirl in place, monsters meet mirrors, shatter apart, perhaps to assault they sing a syrupy song, fluid voices, this tomb of tenderness this sweet smell of rot in our space life is round, the whole world sings, tongues at the ready a sharp hand, rather like a knife, seizing a bit of the delicate little mockingbird, dead, deep-fried, ready-to-eat. a family is forged easily and every night the blood has dreams in our space, life is round stars thrust out, violently, the ceiling goes missing, around 7 p.m. (pacific time), a horde of naive tongues moving, the translation, in between the void and the words. this is how a story gets told in our space life is round, tenderness seeps through sour air under blooming clouds, objects of translation for the eyes and tongues, crammed into tomorrow’s dinnertime. watch, as they feast on their own words for every meal a true liar’s breeding ground. don’t be afraid: in our space what goes around, comes around.
Rich Larson Your Mind Playing Tricks On Me Over for supper. The pot gurgles on its way to the sink while Death Cab sings from her laptop’s tinny speakers about Bangkok to Calgary. She’s laughing about hairnets and I remember blonde strands in the drain of my shower. Steam sluices out, water raps the sink. My fingers go red on the handle and she tells me I should use a colander. That’s probably what makes the lid slip and clang and macaroni spill into stainless steel. We peer down into the steam like explorers to a volcanic vent. Hips together, scraping the pasta out, smiling more from cheap wine than because it’s funny. I’d like to kiss her lips raw. “Ever think we should’ve given it another try?” I ask. “Us?” Her mobile buzzes a circle on the Formica and she flicks it wordlessly to speakerphone because her hands are wet and there aren’t any secrets here, not one. Her boyfriend asks what sort of sauce to pick up. I pick macaroni out of the sink, each one slippery as a seashell.
Deonte Osayande Passed Down Practices It calls my name, the whiskey. The odd thing is we have never met. It makes me wonder how it knows my name, how I can understand what language it speaks.
Sarah Adair Unfortunates Mothered by stone, they lie. The eyeless elm stretches skywardroots jut limb-like, concrete tearing openan old wound | a cloak | two hands | Perhaps it was poignant, once. A renewal of promise, of Orpheus, of miracle. Of rootscradling their tenant who suckles those green palms that cool the temples of mourners. Perhaps. But now? So full of humanity | curiosity | memory | - the tree rises, guided by touch alone, his knees bent in this nervous macabre. We shall stay on the path, as courtesy suggests. The hedgegrow of stone & marble winds on and we do not touch the thinning graves. Instead we cluster on gravel, the living- a rare fruit in this dustbowl, withering in spite of the distance we quietly keep. Fatuous. This place might as well be uncharted - everywhere we walk, we tread on the dead & they hold us dearly. Soon the dry labyrinth of bones becomes a mass. A swollen, suited congregation.
Patty Somlo When She Went Back There When she went back there, the lighting was soft and warm. Men in worn boots, some sporting dark tight ski caps, hunched over the counter slurping coffee from thick white porcelain mugs. The guy closest to the door, Bill Fisk, was dressed in a faded red and black flannel shirt and boots covered with dried mud. Since high school, the waitress pouring refills from a half-filled glass pot had filled out a good twenty pounds, but her waist hadn’t thickened enough to cause Bill to forget the crush he’d had on her. At one time the diner had been open twenty-four hours. Now, the place didn’t open until six o’clock. Slices of lemon meringue pie and chocolate cream, apple and pecan were set on plain white plates in the oblong glass display cabinet. She happened to be the only woman at the counter, besides the waitress Marge. The men wondered what had brought her there. Her arrival caused them to clean up language they would normally have used, even with Marge around. For her part, she liked going back there, taking in the familiar warmth. She knew their warm breath, once exhaled, would cause the windows to fog up. Customers who came in afterward would feel the need to run gloved fingers over the glass to clear a space to look out. It was so long ago that she’d last gone there, coming back now seemed like a dream. She had to wonder whether this was her life or if she’d made parts of it up, from a book she’d read or a movie. Guys meeting each morning at the diner for coffee and a chocolate cream or glazed donut. A small Atlantic Coast beach town, nearly abandoned in January. Grown men – a plumber, an electrician, the owner of an appliance store and one cop -- who’d known each other practically since they could walk, still friends. In this world where most people didn’t bother to learn the names of their next-door neighbors. If anyone asked – and no one did – she would have admitted that staying more than a couple of days was out of the question. The mold, she might say, that she breathed in on opening the cottage’s front door. And while there was something comforting about a world where nothing seemed to change, after a day or so, her mind began to feel numb. The past is past, she murmured quietly, as she headed back
over the causeway, the early morning sunlight splashing across the blue-green bay. She noticed her stomach was beginning to ache. She couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t say why but on the other side of the causeway, she turned the car around. Then she opened the window. The air smelled salty and sour. And for that one moment, the years and all the lives sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d put on and taken off disappeared. The diner, she knew, was still sitting there. Waiting for her to return.
Julie Minicozzi On Support I bask in the sunlight; I lounge on top of a picnic table in the park; I eat a piece of watermelon, spitting the seeds onto the grass. Susan B. Anthony said, “Independence is happiness.” Umhum. I survey them standing in the shadow of a willow tree nestled on the bank of the pond. Her toes point at each other in her mismatched flip-flops. Her fingers, wringing like an agitator, turn the silver ring round and around. Her cheeks are peachy, flush. “Nine weeks.” She pulls a blue wool shawl tight around her shoulders, covering her cherry-red sundress. He bows his head. His knees knock. He kneels down on his haunches, forehead in hands. His jeans are grease-stained, dirty. His white t-shirt is soaked, yellow under the armpits. His holey work-boots are untied. A flock of egrets soars high over the water, pulling eyes upward. Plucking a water lily from the edge of the pond, he palms it gently, strokes its petals, and stands tall. “Come. It’s warmer in the sun than in the shade.”
Richard Luftig Water Tower There’s white paint on top proclaiming the date of this year’s senior class, and someone has written “Gina Forever” a love which might last that long or until September whichever comes first. From the highest rung, (if the vertigo doesn’t get you), one can see the plat of the town; streets with tree names running north and south, those of presidents, east and west, and there, further out to the crest of the flat fields where weeds poke through long rows of soybeans, a two-lane ribbon county road leads to some other place, some other story, one filled with shadow and cadence, leaving what’s left of this town and its shuttered-up storefronts to fend for themselves.
Wendy Russ The Decision Gravel crunching under half-bald tires, we ease down the road. If a car could tip-toe, we would be. Thickets on each side hide who-knows-what-creatures. My travel companion coughs, swats at a bug trying to fly up her nose. From somewhere, from everywhere the sound of 13-year cicadas drone like machines in the distance. On the porch of a house, converted from the old post office a hound dog raises his lazy head and watches us pass. It’s too hot for him to care about our business. His head flops down and he sighs. Around the corner of the ghost town square rock pillars still stand, barely. The old train station. And a few feet beyond, a low water bridge covered with rushing water. We ease up and wait assessing the water in silence. How deep is it? How swift? How dangerous? I look at my travel companion, raise my eyebrows as if to say it’s up to you. She stares at the water in long silence then says, let’s go.
Maureen Kingston The Old Greenhouse in the Woods Gulliver’s ribcage, I suggest to him. Or a beached whale, its baleen fringe blowing in the breeze. Or maybe remnants of Gatsby’s love shack, the muffled shivaree of tent awning & cotter pins still cheering our pipe dreams. The underbrush is thick & I tumble in its woody vines, skin my sight sense to the bone. All I can see is geometry, the world as intersecting lines, like swimming inside Mondrian’s meshed mind. Which is exactly the problem, he says, helping me up. The reason he’s leaving me--
this business of not being able to see things as they really are.
Andrew Stone American Soil we lie here in this edge of madness deepening the darkness because it is the only thing we know
Rachel Custer Rhetoric You have lived the end already, the stunning child dancing above the crowd I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t touch anything with these wretched hands This is the relatively minor dream to enter the boarded door to enter the boarded door to climb the stairs if fire is a contributing factor you will wear water and move like a river downhill
Peter Friedman Milk, Honey, Indigestion Slathering, we forget the simple parts. Ungraced patches. Desecrated circles, forgotten tented circuses, their spired skyward arguments. I am brave enough to admit my weaknesses, through the back door, sit next to them on the plane and even engage in some pencil-tapping conversation, soon to be erased. That said, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a coward when silent. It is hard to smile at the cashier, to be smooth like amber, and as clear. Go to the produce aisle. Note: Mother nature is not on birth control. I ran into a past foe the other day, both of us slow footed, to meet so many years later (out of the parenthesis of our hatred) two men in no manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s land. I wondered if he was through pretending the universe were a phase, he with such a substantive view of it all, a topographer with a poor eye for dimension. (In retrospect, how the comets would sometimes talk shit about each other
in the darkness just to avoid the void-the way there seems to be a waterfall at the end of every lake.) Once seduced, we stewed there for a while. We were cured and bitter, gin and tonic. We knew help was on the way, but we were a mirage, unreachable by siren. Once found, we were too stodgy to be saved. We took up too much space, but were spacy for it. A world of disconnected dots, of flotsam and wreckage. And only bloodlines and geometry to reel our autobiographies out of the murky water. And even then, faith and its sky of cargo and rain. Meet us where we are. even if that is nowhere, even if it is an â&#x20AC;&#x153;Xâ&#x20AC;? hemmed in by Cerberus and sin, and solutions high in pH.
Joshua Grant It and the Other One it is useful to know the name of over one hundred angles and it knows them; while the other one rots like a lemon rots from the inside out, it does not it is ultramodern it never hesitates; though its form is mutable it stayed an arrow through air and stuck and made its presence known: a bloodless rupture in the airwaves when my mother felt the shock she phoned me up to see if I was alright yes a mother that can worry will worry the other one was left behind to spalt and sulk changing 72 times per minute nostalgic for dream it had once
Andrew Hamilton Isolation They found my father weeping at a strangerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s doorstep. He was searching for Piqua, Ohio, only he was in Seattle, Washington. I imagined the wrinkled lobes of his brain, cracking into crystallized shards that slide down his spinal cord, like memories of a melting glacier. If only I could slip into his mind to watch his Mount Saint Helen flatten into snow-dusted crops of Ohio, where he roams in search of her alone.
Marietta Calvanico Into Autumn Earlier in her life she allowed the seasons to pass in an unremarkable way, Now, she stands in the tomato garden waiting for that first cool September breeze, a harbinger of this fruitful cycle coming to an end, she reaches out and touches the leaves releasing their intense aroma, she lowers her face to them, breathing in deeply, she prays.
Morning The gardenâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;his soul, his reflection, the dark, rich earth always waiting for his hands. He brought the bowl of strawberries to her, She loved the smell, shape, color of his hard work, She ate them, she kissed himâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; Nothing ever tasted so good.
Dawn Schout The Side of the Road You are relief from cement, stones, a soft place to land, trod only by shoes, no youthful bare feet. You may not be decorated with daisies, but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll get other gifts: the first slice of bread, apple cores, empty boxes, sweat from runners, flavorless gum, strands of hair longer than grass, spit, words we no longer want to read, bandages holding blood, all we have to offer, these little pieces of us.
Anton Frost normal song the morning wakes me up, the light of it endless sliding gently across the world. i have never truly slept, only dreamt away my failings. how is it the universe is more emptiness than matter, yet the bravery of a single tree overwhelms my understanding? there is a sadness so great it can only fit between one day & the next. the emptiness of my kitchen reminds me there is a fruit so wet its rind is the crust of the earth. my hands are open, my brain is piano music in a purple water.
why have i only just started to live? the birds sing & fly, give each other little gifts. how is it we've failed to love? to adore all that appears over the edge? where have we gone, & why does a city of lifted cloud remind me of everything?
James Piatt Moonlight Sonata I listened to Mozart being played by my Love on the old Spinet, the melody drifted through The eveningâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gentle atmosphere like a poem, I closed my eyes and watched our memories Drift on top of, black and white notes. I am now alone and as I gaze out the window By the old Spinet, I see the Evening Star, The eyelet of heavenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s shade, pulling Gray down into the vivid pink, then Watch as dusk vanishes into darkness. I am now a solitary one in the velvety Darkness of a lonely night, with only the Glimmering stars to light my way, I drift Into the past, with memories of my love playing The Sonata in my aging mind, and I softly weep.
Anne Irwin The World under the Table In those days the moon poured dreams through the crack in the curtains ox eye daisies beamed to busy clouds children played in speckled light on grainy kitchen floors flaunted fairy fingers, made houses under the table sold flour and sweets from stones and leaves, in paper bags over box hedge counters, whipped the heads of soldiers, knew roads were made for hopscotch, meadows for hiding, adults, huddled on table tops in grim tweed coats and black laced shoes and righteous disapproval, best of all avoided.
Shona McGarry Salt Mine It is June again. A different one to last year. This time I have changed and I am somewhere new where there are palm trees and stretches of ocean. I don’t know why I’m jealous. Don’t know why I want you all again. Why I want to feel the click of your door or my shoes on the pavement outside your house. Your own stretch of ocean. Little beach. It’s like I want to want to be there with you and not here alone. But I’m not alone here. I have my people who miss me, who like me, who start with me and don’t see the ghost face in me or the second lives. They don’t see me as an enemy or spirit as something to be warned of and forgotten. I am too deep and lost to change back. Yet I still want something from you. I want you to forgive me, even though it’s all forgotten, right? Old fun, old burns still there. A last torch taken through ancient caves of salt and water, where you still recognise me, and you see me etched in the mined walls clean of their sharp deposits. I see you, too, in other dreams and caves and faces.
Eileen Ni Shuilleabhain Anniversary i You need to get yourself on home now little girl. But I need to find his bones. Remnants of dead limbs At my feet Dusty and ground down Pushing black roots into the dark, dark ground. Blood driven by heartbeats pulsing under my torn skin. My city is burning. ii The fire seemed to have been waiting to be born For weeks now wolves howled in my sleep Feeding the fires Eating meat Foraging, sniffling and lapping in caves Flames brightened, burst In cave mouths And Momma gathered food for winter’s granary. Daddy cleaned the barrel of a gun Religiously. iii I’ve learnt new wordsRape Camp Genocide I’ve out grown my yellow jumper The one with purple balloons on it. Broke fresh. Broke flesh. I draw pictures With crayons bombs smash overhead.
iv Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1993 I watch the black and white TV Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve joined a singing competition Hello Europe, This is Bosnia Herzegovina calling. World applauds. Conscience whispers at the back of Halls. I wonder will the roof of the new way fall.
Lauren Yates Poem in Ten Parts I. We are elementary forces colliding in free fall. Our swagger stems from two parts peek-a-boo and a dash of Where’s Waldo as the imposters try to distract us and the voice of self-doubt masked as one of reason hollers: II. You are such a stalker. So I worship the one conversation we’ve ever had instead of saying hello even though I know he’s most fulfilled when toking up to Twilight Zone marathons and he never, ever smokes alone. III. The sultriest screenplay of his words transcribed itself onto my 8-track mind.
It was this light that never goes out I snagged from a thrift store three seconds before it would’ve been lost forever. Like if I had held the door for the woman wearing leggings as pants, she would have seen him first. Thank God, I was rude that day. IV. We love, but aren’t in love. We learn helplessness like that mess is PhD-worthy and now we can’t get jobs. Does it matter? V. Train conductors. Train conductors were the topic of our only conversation, back when I could sit next to him without knowing he was capable of love. Like his hand was just for writing and his heart for pumping blood and his feet, his feet were for walking, not for guessing his size or modeling houndstooth sneakers that show we have aesthetic understanding of each other.
No. His shoes were just things like Marlboro ashes spilt in scrambled eggs, gift shop ashtrays, Blackberry phones, and that yellowed copy of The Brothers Karamazov. VI. To hope, which makes us crave the impossible. VII. And the universe. The universe cradles souls concealed as cities. It deems mine copacetic while it might’ve called his fly, speaking from both sides of its mouth, rolling its R’s with its perforated tongue. VIII. I am the voice of self-doubt masked as one of reason. I am the wide-eyed shut-in staring out at the plastic pink flamingo of his questionable taste. I cry like a lovesick crocodile, empty tears that mean something even if they’re undeserved, and tend to growing gardens of love-lies-bleeding. He mopes at the prospect of being alone forever, just like me. IX. So I’ll worship the one conversation we’ve ever had instead of saying hello.
X. And telepathically say, “You were not to blame for bittersweet distractors” smiling with hope that he’ll ask me my name.
Jordan Blum Promotion At dawn, the sun always rose to reveal beautiful hope to combat my fears. But now my curtains are always closed because He made you disappear. I’m afraid to draw them again and pretend I trust the warmth of the light which travels so far to replace you with more air. You were reading aloud. We were ensconced in security. I rose to make you breakfast. It all stopped so suddenly. They said He just promoted you to fly blissfully with them all looking down occasionally To watch my morality fall Red lights were flashing I couldn’t wake up… A crowd was gathering …I wouldn’t wake up A hundred cried who knew you And twice as many were strangers Held together in collective sorrow In memory of their dear, sweet whoever Days past slowly after every condolence sent to remind me that I’ve lost all of my reasons. How hard would sustained silence be?
I suppose they’ll act the same way when I join you at darkness’ sight. The sun will never shine again, but you’ll resume giving me my light.
The 52 hai ku of a woman soldier by: Mora Torres
Wolf pack preparing for the hunt marching two by two
White dove learning to fly under appraising black hawks
Plants practice blooming before the cold is over False Spring Lady samurai learns how to wield her sword arranging flowers
Strange bird to fly so far away from her nests Summer/Shipped out
Petal-less daisy fingers graze the stubble freshly sheared center
Dried up oceans surface of an asteroid Summer, now
Learning to howl at a foreign moon the young wolves
Ants marching making cautious progress loads on every back
Ants scurrying in between calamities to remove all dust
Mosquitos at rest without storms, the only thing biting is the sun
Swaying fruit tree branches heavily burdened dragging steel roots
First thunderclap water pelts the dirt mud splatters
First enemy the fermenting forest floor or the other trees?
Hairy scorpion drowning in a thunder storm another day
Pink Salmon swims in blue waters upstream
Camel spider an army of black ants feed on its twitching
Sometimes cruelty Sometimes camaraderie laughing in the mess
Raindrops catching the early light earthworms writhe
Desert hum crawling of insects hidden in the sand
Crickets chirp moonlight falls softy on quiet sand
Sandstorm! not returning to the nest four black ants
Unforeseen ripples the heron steps in a pool desert oasis
After the loud blast the horizon wavers in the intense heat
Scattered across the firmament points of light
Dromedary lips curl around a thorny branch leaving a stub
Muhammadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s larks cover all but their eyes when doves have guns
The dove quivers grateful for its intact wings shadow of an IED
Desert larks choo-wee-chacha-wooee otherwise quiet birds
Time passes a film of grim develops on both fatigues
The moon is the same for doves and desert larks bleeding without wounds
Former enemy The words camel spider become Ankaboot
Autumn leaves clinging to the naked trees I watch them falling Endless sand a bleak cemetery without a marker The hawks float for little while then dive Buzz flies circling spoiled meat helicopters come
Falling sun pierced by mountains the sky turns red White dove still flies with the black hawks but becomes gray Farewell only the children throw stones
Winter/Home First snow of Winter ants are buried underground home at long last Overseas, ants still march but the wolf pack is howling at familiar moons Leaf in the wind its destination unknown discharged from the tree Remember these woods? They are not as they once were they're desert now too Woodpecker's staccato reverberates Frothy waves break and echo and break inside a shell Eyes darting the deer lowers its head drinks to forget A hawk pauses motionless in the crisp air it hears the songbirds Dove's feet leave lacy markings on the ground memories thaw The icy pool becomes liquid once more the bird finds her song
The dove sings her own song in her nest Final reflection on the nature of life it's short, isn't it?
Bill Wolak patient as a temple elephant the mannequin’s smile huge feather snowflakes sticking to your hair white as a lost doll’s eye deepening itch of the map’s intersecting scars jittery as sawdust disdainful as a cactus flower relentless winter fly exhausted nakedness useless as pointing at lightning first kiss kite flying in a blizzard dangling off the bed legs pale as mist hesitating in moonlight
Marjorie Sadin Diary of Psychiatric Medications Taken by Patient MS Thorazine—Initially used in first hospitalization. Totally wiped me out. Librium --Prescribed by Dr. M. for separation anxiety. Got manic. Insanely in love with male dancer. Lithium—Prescribed by Dr. M. for manic/depression. Caused physical pain in the chest, and didn’t keep me from getting manic. Stellazine—Prescribed by Dr. M. for psychosis. (caused me to be legally blind when I used it later with Dr. D.) I also OD’d on it. I thought strangers were famous people. I was the color purple orange, I was gay. I was the messiah. . Mellaril—Liked the “mellow” effect became my psychotic drug of choice. (later under Dr. E. caused holes in my eyes) Haldol—Hated. Cut me off from my feelings but quickly snapped me out of mania. Tegretal-- NIH experimental double blind program. In seclusion for two weeks -danced inside the walls, prayed to Allah. Then with Dr. W.—it kept me out of the hospital. Seemed to work. Got Master’s Degree. Tegretal and Mellaril— Dr R.- I broke through medication. Hospitalized. Dr. D. put me on everything— Prolixin-hyped me up and exhausted me, caused pacing Resperidon—got me angry and irritable Tegretal. Halcion –I believe I had a terrible reaction to itretarded, lack of control of muscles or that could have been from the mixture of so many meds that Dr. D. used at once including Stellazine (made me legally blind).
I would get anxiety attacks every day at work. Add to that my addiction to liquor and you can imagine the side effects. Inability to keep me from getting manic. Threw all my meds down the toilet. Ended up at GW, then Sibly. I think was maintained on Mellaril and Tegretal. Called the weather and spoke to an imaginary friend. The rings answered me. Saw Dr. E. Had to get off the Mellaril because it caused holes in my eyes. Put me on Klonopin. Had to keep taking more to get same effect. Or I was drunk on it. OD’d on Klonopin. Went into GW Hosptital—put me on Dr..P.’s suggestion—Depakote and Clozapine. Worked for fifteen years. Got rid of the delusions. Towards the end of seeing Dr. E. got on Neurotin, and switched Lamicatal for Depakote because of my hand tremor. Stayed on Clozapine. Seroquel-- Dr. G. Initially put me on but wiped me out. Falling and dizzy-- lost job at UDC. Neurontin-- Didn’t work well-still suffered from anxiety attacks regularly. But the sedation made it a seductive drug. It caused me incontinence, falling, fatigue. Continued with Lamicatal. Clozapine. Then change to Buspar—I don’t know what it does Atavan, temporary and very little relief from anxiety Abilify—makes me nauseous, not sure what it does. Clozapine That’s all I remember
Contributors Sarah Adair is a student writing from Northern Ireland. Her work has been previously published by Corvus and Adroit Journal. Leslie Marie Aguilar was born and raised in Abilene, Texas. She served as the Poetry Editor of the Harbinger Journal of Literature and Art and was a finalist for the Stephan Ross Huffman Memorial Poetry Award. She is currently pursuing an MFA at Indiana University. Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16 year old award winning artist. Jordan Blum has an MFA in creative writing and he currently teaches at various colleges. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Bookends Review, an online literary/multimedia journal. Jordan is also a progressive rock musician and journalist. His work has been or will be featured at several places, including The Lit Pub, Flashfiction.net, Bong Is Bard, Eunoia Review, Connotation Press, Used Furniature Review, Delusions of Adequacy, Examiner, Sea of Tranquility, Popmatters, and Venture. Matthew Brennan earned his MFA in fiction from Arizona State University, and is an assistant fiction editor with the Haydenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ferry Review and Speech Bubble Magazine. Brennan has won numerous awards and fellowships for his short fiction, which has appeared in dozens of journals and anthologies, including Pure Slush, Glasschord, Recess Magazine, The Eunoia Review, and Fiddleblack. Jenny Burkholderâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s work has appeared in New American Writing, Spoon River Poetry Review, Glimmer Train, and The Prose-Poem Project. In addition, I have won an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry and the Glimmer Train Press October Poetry Open. Josh Callum is author of no collections of poetry and has never before been published in national literary journals. He recently graduated from Roanoke College in Salem, VA and lives in Boston, MA. He teaches creative arts to elementary and middle schoolers in Providence, RI under an Americorps position. Marietta Calvanico lives in Staten Island, NY. After spending a bit more than two decades in advertising/marketing, she now works with her architect husband and has been able to devote more time to writing and music. Her poetry has appeared in the Bare Root Review, the damselfly press, Poem2day, Word Salad Poetry Magazine, fourpaperletters, OccuPoetry and others.
Rachael Custer has been previously been published in Up the Staircase, Flutter, and Prick of the Spindle. Sarah Estime is en route to a communications degree at St. John’s University. She has been published by Canadian literary magazine What If?, the African American Review, online literary magazine Xenith.net, and literary/photography lit mag Burnermag. She also writes reviews for Blogcritics and Examiner.com. Peter Cole Friedman writes poetry in New York. He recently graduated from Hunter College with a degree in Religious Studies, but also has a keen interest in everything else. He strums a guitar and writes songs. Some of his other poems can be found at Right Hand Pointing, Defenestration, and Anderbo. His blog of illustrated witticisms is at www.theidiotsage.wordpress.com Anton Frost is a poet living in Grand Haven, Michigan. His poetry has appeared in ditch, Verdad, Midwest Literary Magazine, Grasslimb, Third Wednesday, Flashquake, Shot Glass Journal, and greatest lakes review, among several others. Joshua Grant is a recent graduate of Simon Fraser University’s English program, an avid poet, and aspiring musician. Lately, he has been involved in a project with a former instructor examining and categorizing poets’ first books published in the 21st century. His work has been included in SFU’s Ampersand and, more recently, the online journal Arsenic Lobster. Andrew Hamilton recently graduated the University of Tennessee with outstanding honors in English. I won the university’s Woodruff, Knickerbocker, and BainSwiggett creative writing awards and have poems published in BlazeVOX’s Spring 2012 issue. William Hoffacker is a recent graduate of Susquehanna University with a B.A. in creative writing. In the fall he begins work on an M.A. from Ohio University. His work has appeared in The Susquehanna Review, Novelletum, and The Tomfoolery Review. Melissa Hohl is a senior in the Creative Writing department at San Francisco State University. In the past, she has served as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant, and will be taking up the same position in the upcoming term of Fall 2012. She currently interns at Small Press Distributions in Berkeley, California. This is her first publication. Anne Irwin was born in Ballyhaunis, Co Mayo, Ireland. She lived on Muighinis Island for 13 years and later moved to Galway city. She has three sons. She studied English and Philosophy in the National University of Ireland, Galway and is now a practicing homeopath. She loves gardening in spring and cooking in winter. She draws inspiration from nature, myths and legends for her poetry and which is often political
and sometimes satirical. Her poetry was published in R.O.P.E.S magazine in 2011, 2012. She was a featured reader at Over the Edge Galway City library in February 2012, at the Clarinbridge Arts festival September 2011, the Galway International Quilting festival June 2012 and the Galway Fringe festival 2012 and at the N.U.I.G. Alumni evening 2011. Alethea Kehas' writing has appeared in the journals TouchPoetry and Airplane Reading. She can be found at http://nottomatoes.wordpress.com/. Maureen Kingston lives and works in eastern Nebraska. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Centrifugal Eye, Constellations, Lily, The Meadowland Review, Pireneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fountain, Psychic Meatloaf, Stone Highway Review and Terrain.org. Phyllis Klein poems have appeared in the Pharos of Alpha Omega Medical Society Journal, on her website, and in cards and letters. She is a psychotherapist and poetry therapist, living and working in the SF Bay Area. She believes strongly in the healing power of poetry. Noah Kucijâ&#x20AC;&#x2DC;s work appears or is forthcoming in 32 Poems, The Cortland Review, LOST Magazine, Slow Trains, and in a chapbook published by Toadlily Press. He works at Hudson Valley Community College in upstate New York. Nathaniel Lanman is an undergraduate Creative Writing major at Hamilton College. He lives in White Plains, NY. Rich Larson is a 20-year-old student living in Edmonton, Alberta. His novel Devolution was selected as a finalist for the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. His shorter work has since appeared in Word Riot, YARN, Bartleby Snopes, AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, >kill author, Monkeybicycle, Prick of the Spindle, Daily Science Fiction, and many others. His self-published work can be found at Amazon.com/author/richlarson. Richard Luftig is a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature and a semi finalist for the Emily Dickinson Society Award. His poems have appeared in numerous literary journals in the United States and internationally in Japan, Canada, Australia, Europe, Thailand, Hong Kong and India. One of his published poems was nominated for the 2012 Pushcart Poetry Prize. Mira Martin-Parker is currently pursuing an MFA in creative writing at San Francisco State University. Her work has appeared in Diverse Voices Quarterly, Istanbul Literary Review, Literary Bohemian, The Minetta Review, The Monarch Review, Mythium, Ragazine, Tattoo Highway, Yellow Medicine Review, and Zyzzyva.
Shona McGarry is a First Year undergraduate student from Dublin. Her work is previously crisply unpublished, and her favorite book is The Little Prince. Heather McGrew been an instructor of writing at the University of WisconsinSuperior for twelve years, where she focuses mainly on teaching Freshman Composition. She has also formerly have served as a copy editor for New Moon Magazine for Girls in Duluth, Minnesota, and as a first reader for The Spoon River Poetry Review. In addition, she was the recipient of the Tom Kuster Creative Writing Award for poetry while doing graduate work at Illinois State University. Her work has previously appeared in such publications as The Coeval (Bethel University), Out of Words (College of Saint Scholastica), and The Nemadji Review (University of WisconsinSuperior). A midwesterner at heart, Lisa Mecham currently lives in Los Angeles with her two daughters and the dog that they suckered her into. After a stint of saving the world as a social worker, Lisa is now realizing her lifelong dream to write poetry and fiction as a student in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Her first poem was recently published by WordPlaySound. Lisa can be found online at lisamecham.com Julie Minicozzi is a graduate of William Paterson University, with a B.A. in English. Julie has had poetry published in The Zeitgeist, an on-campus literary journal at William Paterson University, and she has had several creative works and critical papers published in campus writing contest journals. Eileen Ní Shuilleabhain grew up in the Gaelic speaking region of Connemara on the west coast of Ireland. She works as a Mental Health Social Worker and Psychotherapist in Galway City, Ireland. Eileen has attended poetry workshops with Kevin Higgins since 2011. Her poetry explores shadows and light in both internal and external landscapes. She is keenly interested in myth, legend and folklore particularly from her Gaelic Irish heritage and this frequently influences her poetry. M. N. O’Brien received his B.A. from Roanoke College, where his work was published in On Concept’s Edge and received the Charles C. Wise Poetry Award. His work is published or will be published in forthcoming issues of The Camel Saloon, SOFTBLOW, Counterexample Poetics, Crack the Spine, Eunoia Review, Blue and Yellow Dog, and Zuccotti Park Press. He currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky. Deonte Osayande is a poet from Detroit, Mi. He has been a featured reader at many events across the US and Canada. He is published in Quantum Poetry Magazine, Requiem Magazine, Wayne Literary Review, and Curbside Splendor to name a few. Todd Outcalt is author of twenty-five books in six languages with most recent short work in Rosebud, American Fitness, and Rattle.
Melina Papadopoulos is from Ohio. She has six birds. Work has appeared in or will be appearing in Nazar Look, The Adroit Journal, Used Furniture, among others. Tom Pescatore grew up outside Philadelphia, he is an active member of the growing poetry/lit scene within the city and hopes to spread the word on Philadelphia’s new poets. He maintains a poetry blog: amagicalmistake.blogspot.com. His work has been published in over literary magazines both nationally and internationally but he’d rather have them carved on the Walt Whitman bridge or on the sidewalks of Philadelphia’s old Skid Row. James Piatt was the featured poet in Word Catalyst Magazine in 2009, and Contemporary American Voices in 2010. Long Story Short selected one of his poems for the poem of the month in 2011; Phati’tude Literary Magazine in their spring 2011 issue featured an interview with him. He has had over 225 poems published in over three-dozen magazines and anthologies.Two of his books of poetry are forthcoming this fall by Broken Publications. Unbound Content will publish a third poetry book, in 2013. Stephen Rosenshein is originally from Seattle and am a recent graduate of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Program at San Francisco State University. He was a former editor of Fourteen Hills Literary Magazine and Small Desk Press. His translations, fiction, and poems have recently appeared in The International Review, Sazmidat Literary Magazine, Foliate Oak, and Foundling Review. Wendy Russ' most recent work has appeared in Tales from the South and the poetry anthology “Off Season.” She is the Managing Editor of the literary journal The Lascaux Review. Marjorie Sadin is a nationally published poet with four books of poetry in print. She lives and reads her poetry in the Washington DC area. She studied poetry with Tom Lux, Marilyn Hacker and Marge Piercy and currently tutors learning disabled students. Dawn Schout's poetry has appeared in more than two dozen publications, including Fogged Clarity, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Muscle & Blood Literary Journal, Pemmican, Poetry Quarterly, Red River Review, and Scissors and Spackle. She won the B.J. Rolfzen Memorial Dylan Days Writing Contest and the Lucidity Poetry Journal Contest. She lives near Lake Michigan. Jay Sizemore wrote poetry before writing poetry was cool. His work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in: the anthology Prompted, cur.ren.cy, Red River Review, Siren, LaReata Review, and Wilderness House Poetry Review. He lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife Elizabeth. They have three cats.
Patty Somlo has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and is the author of From Here to There and Other Stories, http://www.paraguasbooks.com. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review, the Santa Clara Review, the Jackson Hole Review and WomenArts Quarterly, and in several anthologies. Andrew J. Stone is a pseudonym for life. Andrew J. Stone is a pseudonym for death. He hates the sun, sleeps under its shine. His work has appeared in over fifty literary journals & he recently finished an ekphrastic chap of poetry. He dwells where the graveyard is always full: http://andrewjstone.blogspot.com/ & tweets where the birds have stopped their chirp: https://twitter.com/#!/AndrewJStone1 Isabel Sylvan lives along the Raritan Bay where she writes both poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared in numerous small presses throughout the past twenty years. Currently, she is the editor of Poetry Breakfast, a daily online poetry journal. Mora Torres' work has been published in The Pony Express, Fortunates, Cul-de-sac and the inside of many bathroom stalls. She lives in Los Angeles. Gulnar Tuli is sixteen and lives in Los Angeles. Her writing has been featured in Miranda Literary Magazine, and is appearing in a forthcoming issue of Short, Fast, and Deadly. This is the first time her photography has been published. Bill Wolak is a poet who has just published his fourth book of poetry entitled Warming the Mirror with The Feral Press. He is currently working on a translation of the Italian poet Annelisa Addolorato with Maria Bennett. Mr. Wolak teaches Creative Writing at William Paterson University in New Jersey. Lauren Yates is from Oceanside, CA, but currently lives in Philadelphia. She is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in Creative Writing. She also directed Pennâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s premier performance poetry collective The Excelano Project. Her work has previously appeared in The Legendary. More of her writing can be found at http://erasinglacuna.tumblr.com.