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moonshot issue four WX correspondences

Victoria Redel Terese Svoboda Michael Kimball Chloe Caldwell


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f : JD Scott ie h C in r o it d E lia Tsang A : r o it d E g in Manag a Boardman u h s o J : r o it d E Fiction Pollari a n ii N : r o it d E Guest Poetry Tia Lam Comics Editor: a Place Art Editors: Ett hin Guha o R : r e g a n a M t Online Conten am Cotten Readers : Grah ky Mark Danows


about

Moonshot publishes diverse, powerful voices across traditional and digital platforms. As an independent magazine with no allegiance to any single aesthetic, we celebrate all forms of storytelling from both emerging and established talent. Moonshot encourages narratives from the experimental to the traditional. We create an equal opportunity space by championing our bold writers and adventurous readers. We want work that astounds. We want work that levitates. We want luminaries brighter than the moon. Subscriptions and issues of Moonshot can be purchased online at moonshotmagazine.org. Complete submission guidelines are available on our website. For all other inquiries, please write to info@moonshotmagazine.org. Copyright Š 2012 Moonshot. No portion of Moonshot may be reproduced without permission of the magazine. Authors retain the right to reprint their work on the condition of Moonshot being credited with initial publication. All rights reserved.

Moonshot would like to extend a special thanks to Etta Place for generously curating the fine arts found in this issue. We also extend a special thanks to Molly George for allowing us to use her collage, Outlaws, as our cover art. Etta Place is a Brooklyn-based art and consulting project founded by sisters, Liz and Genevieve Dimmitt. Equal parts art salon, curatorial and collection advisory, and event production house, Etta Place is a forum for showcasing creative projects by a hand-selected group of artists, designers, and creators. Find out more information at ettaplace.com. ISBN # 978-0-9837890-2-4 ISSN # 2167-1184


contents Christine Hamm

Death Poem with Federally Funded Holiday Hurricane Number 4

Terese Svoboda

The Long Swim

Mark Mazzoli

Roll Cloud

David Russomano

10th, 11th 

Eugenia Leigh

The Exchange

Kate Wyer

8

10 11 14 16 17

Future Wood 

18

It Is Not Kissing 

19

Simon Moreton

Untitled20

Victoria Redel

Woman Without Umbrella

22

Woman Without Umbrella, Unseasonable

23

Chloe Caldwell & Skye Tyler

Who the Others Were

Nicole Steinberg

24

Getting Lucky with Wendy

27

Getting Lucky with Elizabeth

28

Getting Lucky with Lindsay

29

Art Curated by Etta Place

Molly George

30

Stephen Zerbe

34

B. Thom Stevenson

38


Kevin Spenst

A Song from Bedlam

Michael Kimball

{I Am a Providence}

Gina Abelkop

Daytime Provisions

42 43 48

Rita Feinstein

Fourteen49

Kenneth Pobo

The Giantess

Autumn Giles

Cat Eye Glasses

S. Frederic Liss

The Woman with Sunlight in Her Eyes

50 52 53

Alexander Rothman

Reeling58

Kirby Wright

October in South Moravia

Jeffrey Alfier

66

The Bouncer

67

Apprenticed to the Sea

68

Camilo Roldán

Por Qué

Ashley Sgro

Cherub Face

69 70

Biographies72


letter from the editor I want summer to be a vintage postcard from the fifties. Not the real fifties, but the Pantone fifties. A wormhole of perfect sand where everything exists in mute primaries. A deflated beachball. The long drive of rolled down windows and cranked up air conditioners. A good silence. Epistolary affairs. Lipstick left on mimosa glasses. Glossy magazines and well-manicured fingers. This was found: Accidents. This issue is disaster, both natural and manmade (if manmade is unnatural). Romance. There are bad fucks, and there are very nice fucks. Mouth touching mouth, saliva and sweat. There is so much family: fathers, sons, daughters, nieces, mothers, husbands, wives, miscellaneous lovers. There are cities and there are oceans. This summer is the summer of correspondences. Victoria Redel introduces us to her Woman Without Umbrella, the reappearing character from her upcoming eponymous book. Terese Svoboda captures the strange beauty of stifling family get-togethers set against a Floridian landscape. Christine Hamm brings us inside a ruinous hurricane. Nicole Steinberg pulls text from back-issues of Lucky, the self-proclaimed “magazine about shopping and style,” to craft poems of collaged copy. Molly George, B. Thom Stevenson, and Stephen Zerbe—three provocative artists selected by curatorial group Etta Place—bring together a whirlwind of mixed-media arts. Simon Moreton and Alexander Rothman both illuminate the vagaries of life with their poetic comics. There is so much more: all you have to do is turn the page to find the alchemy that transforms this work into a united object that agrees, relates, corresponds. –JD Scott


Christine Hamm

Death Poem with Federally Funded Holiday Butterfly wings sewn to the buttons on your sweater.  The barbeque smoke comes between me and the trees. Here, people are ready for their meat. Who has time for kisses? Why do I always picture you in a golden canoe, watching your hands, making no discernable effort to stop your drift? I dream that your face turns into a hairless monkey’s—I dream you can talk again, that you have a good singing voice and are trying out “Oklahoma, OK” one chorus at a time. I dream that I killed you, that I’m trying not to kill you, that I’m finding out who killed you with the help of a very fat nurse. Construction paper starfish, smudged indigo, crawl out of the burning tree in the corner. The barbeque flames go too high—the family circling the grill moans and jumps back, then laughs and claps.  They all have the same curly mudcolored hair, like there was a sale at the wig factory. I dream your coffin is wedding-colored, that we are all carrying bridal bouquets on the floor above, but we’ve forgotten who’s getting married, or if there’s a groom. The tree above starts to sizzle and smoke.  Flames like sudden pipe cleaners indicate the burn. You won’t lift a goddamn oar or meet my eyes: your golden boat floats by on the beige river. The hospital reeked of wet diapers and fried onions, made the skin on my arms wince. The game I brought you with plastic racehorses wouldn’t work—the spinner kept sticking on “interesting question, try again later.” You apologized for everything, tried to write a poem that rhymed “biopsy” with “try for me.” I have to start writing “thank you’s”; I have to start digging and forgetting. 8


My cup of smoke: dry ice or spirit communication?  The trees are full of dive-bombing dragonflies and ex-communicated sneakers. I dream you face down on a grassy hill, the sky foaming dark above you; your hands greyish, half-closed.  The shapes the swooping swallows make remind me of scissors, their bellies bright red, yellow.

9


Christine Hamm

Hurricane Number 4 The rain blows sideways under the streetlamps: dash of yellow, orange. The streetlights wobble dramatically and TV antennae drape themselves over cars, then sigh and move on. I have been dreaming of my dead horse lately, just the last few minutes, when he was lying on the ground, blinking slowly, my mother hugging herself and weeping. Bits of trees and signs blow about. Once I am outside, the rain is not so hard, almost like nothing. I suck in my cheeks, make my eyes big, turn my hands into half-fists, level, as if they’re holding an iron bar in front of me. I point the top of my body down, pull my eyebrows up. Some people call this body language. My mother calls it “having a spaz.” It means: up and down, roller coaster. I’m trying to write another story that is not a ghost story, and that’s how you appear, in your black jeans and black tank top, smiling snidely, surrounded by small green bushes, like some sort of travel photo found on the sidewalk. Did someone lose this? Waving my hand. Is that what I’m trying to do? Say you’re sorry. I am so, so sorry. You don’t have to be so sorry, just sorry. I wake up my husband and ask him to stand out in the rain with me. He says, Babe, why would you want to do that? Here is the clunk of something hitting the skylight. Here is my hand, wet, unsure of its purpose. Here is the bracelet you left on the bench. Here is the water bubbling down our steps. Here is the front door, swollen, unable to close.

10


Terese Svoboda

The Long Swim In Jamaica, all afternoon the dog dragged itself forward on his front paws, all the engine he had. That ocean had so much salt that when he hit the water it kept his head up and he swam. Nobody believes me. I pull down my suit-crotch and slither into the Floridian pool. My chin up, my limbs flailing, I spot another pretty sea shell left on the opposite edge, its meat hanging out, an accusing red lump some kid left stinking in the sun. I dive, spreading the pool water around, dog joy on my brain, and how useful is a shell really until it is empty? Not from the shell’s POV. Seven sets of toes are lined up poolside when I’ve flung enough water off my eyes. Too many. Someone’s supposed to be sleeping. I never went for a swim in Jamaica, I couldn’t leave the baby on the beach, I tell those toes thus lined up, but they tap and my brother says I am late. His two girl sprites bob at an angle near where the sun is sinking so I can’t see to grab one of their wrists to ignite a smile on him. They scream at someone else instead, being extracted from the pool against their out-of-proportion-totheir-size wills. As to wills, my father sits lordly and dry in an overlooking room, conniving a quick trip to the gift shop to wed a woman in a short top—he wishes, he wishes but commands us as audience for his will instead, says my brother. But first, a photo. We line up against foliage with shed water as shadows under us, the wet ones, we smile when told, when shot. We are all wearing t-shirts with my father’s brand across it, S with an arrow from its heart, to distinguish our herd. Until this photo of brand documentation is made, planes will be held for family members, no one will be allowed to eat, let alone swim. Pizza is what we say fast with our eyes closed against instant pizza lust, against the encroaching departure times, against the son. I mean sun. I have nothing vs. my son standing way at the back so he seems short, so tall he blots out the waning rays up close. Nothing, except for how he says everything is 11


my fault. His birth is, but I’m not sorry enough about that to revoke the crazy joy of raising him, the sly six notes on the sax after I cancelled his lessons for lack of practice. He kisses me goodbye, one peck, and won’t call and won’t leave a number because how can you punish a mother any other way? I drip. It’s a lot of heave-ho dragging if you have only one leg under your timber, the way I feel about him. Maybe flippers would speed a shell forward, I suggest to the two sprites with all their adolescent future before them, who tease a crab. They shiver and dance on the cement with it, then vanish as quick as the crab. My father is laying out his tricks when I arrive on his balcony, with cards, some of them—a few queens—so female you imagine them banned, out of play. I’ve changed my mind, he says. I am not giving you any of the money Mom left but buying another ranch like I’ve always wanted, he says. Let’s vote on that next, he says. And approve it. Everyone approves it but me and my vote is just token, I’m just one will against too many. Now I want everyone to play charades, he says, collapsing his deck as if found fondling it. My sister, only fifty-eight years old, leaps to the floor and bites her son’s ankle. No props, screams my brother but we all guess—it’s her old vicious dog. Then she flings herself into our father’s lap and, while he lights up with a woman so close, we guess it’s the dog Tom, his doggie replacement for Mom. Hey, this isn’t charades, says someone who isn’t close family or not close enough. We just bark. The two sprites can’t stop barking and lay on their backs, pawing the air. Then there is ice cream or dream cheese on a bagel to eat, then there is dessert on a stick. Wrappers find mothers who stick them in bags under cupboards, between drawers. Who finds the flashlight, and another, and another? Past all the screened-in rooms and foyers and verandas, we walk in single file—not pedophile, says someone too much in the dark to I.D., we walk toward the beach to the sand that takes up where the boardwalk doesn’t and the rotting sealife starts. We spin our flashlights everywhere, 12


having heard that turtles crawl onto the beach in the middle of the night, as anxious as we are to leave progeny behind. Who said that? I ask over the loud laughter of someone play-golfing at the balls the turtles are said to deposit. Their hearts keep on beating after they’re dead, answers someone else. Such optimists, I say and put my flashlight in my mouth. It lights me, my mouth so wide and red I’m scary, I could be a beating heart. Love, love, love. We stand around ankle-deep in the sand, happier, not wiser, declaring the great amphibians clever to go on sexing it up under the water, keeping their eggs stuck in their slots and skipping their scheduled appearance on the beach. We ourselves have all reproduced, in cold or hot water or near it, and turn off our lights to have our hands free to toast each other in celebration, the thin plastic shells around the drinks making so little sound we go quiet and gulp. It’s instinct, says someone who isn’t dreaming. See? Beyond our ankles a super-sized creature drags itself out of the rushing dark water, into the dark.

13


Mark Mazzoli

Roll Cloud

Barking at clouds the dogs don’t remember what happened last time It is the end again Without something in front of you there is no world and nothing to wait for Hands are the most desperate part of a man What are they without holding without some foreign thing shaping them I wait for the wars that haven’t happened yet my ear to the ground anticipating footsteps

hoping for wounds to press my palms against

There’s good to gripping splitting soldiers Stopping something from opening that shouldn’t be open Whenever there is a rainstorm (which is often now) I think of war and cannot sleep knowing that every feeling has always been (a woman who couldn’t stop talking told me the limbic system never forgets) and every drop of water has always been and every invasion has always been squarely hitting the same jaw in the same opportune darkness until the dawn when everything bleeds back upwards 14


Godburn The garish day the deafening light The unalterable hell of seeing and knowing

15


David Russomano

10th, 11th

I didn’t take many photos that day, probably because of the rain—white gravestone through an iron fence, neon cross over a city church’s door, Chuck Close mural of a face broken down into pixels on a red brick wall, and a close up of droplets hanging from a chipped black railing. I didn’t have anything to stop me from sleeping in that morning, but the voice of my grandmother in hysterics, confused, yelling things that didn’t add up, dragging me downstairs to the TV in time to watch it falling, live, where I’d been standing the day before, taking pictures of rain.

16


Eugenia Leigh

The Exchange I want an interruption. God stirs the Pacific with a swizzle stick. I want constellations. God hunts for packaging tape. Ninety-nine thunderbolts say, Here we are, and God hunts the wayward bolt. God hunts a not-so-wayward cab driver, a new ghostwriter, the bitter daughters. I offer God a map. I offer God one chapter. I offer God 1997. I offer God the better pen and God writes this note: I know a man who bought a dog and named him Father. I know a girl who says Daddy when she prays.

17


Kate Wyer

Future Wood My family drinks rum in tumblers and pulls the clapboard from the house. The nails say small words when they leave the wood. I laugh at their language. We’ll reuse the nails, I say, I want them still hot, newly oxidized like orange teeth in future wood. We’ll beat away the rust from the radical of metal. I am cold, despite the excitement. Spit is building in my mouth from stale tobacco. I smile at my family and think, We’ll pull this burning into our bodies. I shout when my brother’s cigarette canoes. I must believe in something. The family in rusted lawn-chairs watches the fire settle into embers, settle into ash. They are silent. A lawn-mower in the distance. A weed-whacker. I walk through the smoking pit, the rubber of my shoes melting. Small pellets of it come off as I kick around to find nails. I reach down, pluck them orange, drop them into a bucket of cold water. They hiss and sink.

18


Kate Wyer

It Is Not Kissing My husband falls asleep first and I move into his space move my mouth onto his it is not kissing if you do not move away to kiss you must leave the other mouth I press my lips firm and flat against his hold he wakes of course smiles kisses me he moves away from my mouth he closes his eyes I do it again open mouth to open mouth not moving there is breath here the exchange the separate self the one left when the other stops breathing he pulls his head away again

19


Simon Moreton Untitled


Victoria Redel

Woman Without Umbrella Thus she waited at the corner for the light to change. Indeed sometimes she wanted to sneak back and have another look. Then she was afraid, actually, it was a lot simpler than she’d let on. Therefore and then, indeed, and somewhat and thus. Nevertheless there were accidents and other misfortunes.

22


Victoria Redel

Woman Without Umbrella, Unseasonable All month her city sweats and sticks, women and men stripped down to a snarl, it’s too fucking hot. These are steamy low-key days, south of the border, hot-to-the-touch afternoons, burning cement walls built for pressing him up against.

23


Chloe Caldwell & Skye Tyler

Who the Others Were

He was a cop that owned monogrammed towels and practiced karaoke. He was a romantic role-play rulebook writer and Dungeons and Dragons player from Washington who didn’t like to role-play in bed. He was the gypsy. He was Norwegian with soft knees and I lost him in a crowd before we could find a tent to fuck in. He told me he was the least creative person in the world and somehow that turned me on because it was the opposite of what I was looking for. He was a guy who drove the delivery van for my work and had his dead mother’s face tattooed on his arm and the words “CHUG LIFE” tattooed on his stomach. He had cheekbones like Michael Jackson and his eyes gave you the feeling that he didn’t have a soul. I met him in a writing workshop when I was twenty-one and he was manic-depressive and bi-polar and always had a girlfriend and he scares me because he’s been the only one I truly loved. She was a heroin addict I met in the psych ward and took me home and shaved my pussy and he was her boyfriend whose type, she said, was more me than her. He was my roommate and he slapped me during sex and when I moved out he let me take his blow dryer. She was a compulsive liar who seduced me in a bar and I wanted her because she had the strength to leave her boyfriend and I didn’t. They were all dudes I worked with at the Strand bookstore; they were all different, but I was drinking a lot of whiskey in those days and it’s hard to recall how they were different now. He was a French kleptomaniac from Lyon and he took me to the movie Manhattan. In Manhattan. He was the only boy I’d ever known who knew as much about the band Nirvana as I; we spent a perfect night trading trivia, but his penis was tiny and we didn’t have much to talk about after that. Four years ago he hung himself, and I feel guilty that I still haven’t gone to his grave. He got me into hip-hop and graphic novels and abused me with words nearly every night and later all of his friends became mine. He was the first man to put my legs straight up in the air while we fucked and at seven in the morning I left and drove my blue Oldsmobile to McDonalds for an Egg McMuffin. He was the black man I met behind a McDonalds 24


on an accidental PCP trip and he took me to a whore motel where he could have raped me but didn’t. He was Moroccan and drove a Mercedes and lived in his travel agency and if I’d met him today I would have known he was a cokehead. Which means sometimes you make the same mistake twice. I met him after I fell down the stairs at a wedding, a result of mixing three Vicodins with glasses of champagne and I woke up in his bedroom and saw Phish posters and books only on golf and knew it would never work out. He got me into dirty talk and Pantera and the idea of tattoos and would say, “Ass up, stomach down,” when he wanted to have sex doggie style. He was a comic book artist I met on the Internet and after we had sex he cried and told me he didn’t really like me. His feet smelled, almost unbearably, and for too many years I blamed my pizza and morphine addiction on him. He was much older, a professional photographer whose photograph of Modest Mouse I had cut out of Spin magazine as a teenager and taped to my wall.  He was flying the next day to Memphis or Nashville or somewhere and he promised I could stay sleeping in his air-conditioned bed but in the morning he asked me to leave. He was a blonde and svelte rock climber from Minnesota and when we’d go out to bars he pretended to be Australian. I started smoking because he was the hardest to get over. He had to have been more than fifteen years older than me and he was Italian and it was in Sicily and to this day I can smell his cologne and I gag at the thought of his cold fingers moving down my jeans. He was my neighbor and she was his girlfriend and I started speaking just like her which made me think I was in love. He was my brother’s best friend and as a kid I wrote in my pink diary that I would not marry him unless he grew out his buzz cut. She changed her gender and her name is Jorge or Victor or something like that these days. He was a poet and I was his rebound and he told me stories about New York City like it was a place I would never see. During Drama Club he was my first kiss and nine years later he couldn’t get hard but promised there would be more times—there weren’t. He was fat and awkward and I took his virginity on the floor of his parent’s house to the sounds of my copy of Sonic Youth’s Bad Moon Rising. 25


He was an electric guitar player with thin fingers and fingered me on my hammock while my parents slept inside. He was my first and after he broke my hymen with a cordless telephone antenna we fucked in vans and in other peoples’ cars and dark rides at Disney world and I still miss the tenderness sometimes.

26


Nicole Steinberg

Getting Lucky with Wendy I was born on the Fourth of July, bisected in a red, white, and blue bikini, saturated with the feel-good mood of a dusky New England summer. I usually laze by the pool in plaid shorts and aviators, then head straight to the kitchen for red wine and cake, soothed by the delightful breeze of the A/C. I used to be an ocean person, obsessed with its uncommon surface, a messy dusting of gems. At home with my husband, I’m looking for otherworldliness in the washcloths, delicate medicinal cocktails on the front porch. Every three seconds, I’m tempted to tear my way to the beach, to soak my shape in its familiar whimsy, blue on blue.

27


Nicole Steinberg

Getting Lucky with Elizabeth The quintessential blonde feels like heaven: cool and refreshing as iced tea, channeling sunshine. I’ve never been happier than the day I discovered bleach and studded bombers. My stylist was an arty, tempestuous man who hacked off all my hair and deliberated the pros and cons of shampoos with fiery zeal. Oh, my God. I fell in love with that relentlessly adorable haircut—electric yellow Madonna with insane waves, the superstar of hairspray. I checked myself in the mirror, seduced by my camera-ready glamazon look, right down to the just-waiting-to-get-perfectly-beat-up leather and where’s-the-party false eyelashes.

28


Nicole Steinberg

Getting Lucky with Lindsay Body-conscious and puffy in seventh grade, awash in a spectrum of Prada-swathed, mini Cleopatras, a tough-as-nails collegiate girl sparked my fixation with the feminine form. Tawny and pigment-drenched, her hipster horn-rims popped with a confident cool next to my sloppy denim overalls and tie-dyed scrunchies. My ballerina boyfriend, glitzy and buff—I lived in her shrunken baby tees for months, smelling the fabric, exuberant and ready. These days, I’m paired with sleek, tight-faced fashion cartoons who’d throw me out a window for a fabulous mascara—a departure from my favorite wildcard and our smoldering nights; how we came together, built for touch and always taking more.

29


Molly George Two Cicadas Kiss Collage, spray paint on book cover 9”x10”


Molly George Outlaws Collage on vintage envelope 8.5� x 11�


Molly George Moon Queen Collage on paper 18”x22”


Molly George The Center Doorway Collage on paper 12”x16”


Stephen Zerbe Desert Apparition Painted book pages 9-3/4� x 14�


Stephen Zerbe Christmas in America Painted book pages 9-3/4” x 14”


Stephen Zerbe Blood History Painted book pages 9-3/4” x 14”


Stephen Zerbe West Coast Apparition Painted book pages 9-3/4” x 14”


B. Thom Stevenson Explosion #3 Acrylic, ink, and oil enamel on panel 24” x 18”


B. Thom Stevenson The Last Beautiful Thing You Have Ever Seen Acrylic, correction film, ink, marker, oil enamel, and Xerox on paper 8.5” x 11”


B. Thom Stevenson Postmortalism Acrylic, ink and toner on digital print 8.5� x 11�


Kevin Spenst

A Song from Bedlam “For I am not without authority in my jeopardy.” –Christopher Smart

Let my father be Christ (on special occasions), Freud once or twice on Jeopardy, the King of New Westminster, of cigarettes, of strong-armed tattoos. Let his phantom mind into shadows, soap bubbles, t.v.; everything a shimmering mirror to feedback a sleepless loop, until days of stasis on the couch suspicions slipping beneath cushions fears of coins as listening devices. Let nerves like webs stretch from his eyes and ears into the speaking places peopling the living room. Let a spider named Alex feed him answers on his lazy-boy until this poem is weighted with enough images to take on its own existence, muttering to itself about spinning out spaces from a flat surface to your eyes. 42


Michael Kimball

{I Am a Providence} They have spread a small table for us, but I don’t know if we should we stop eating. Do you know why your friend is behind the future tense? I wonder about your face and how she brushes her hair. Nobody knows what will happen if I answer the above. Do you think you will move your legs toward the hesitant? She is closer to me and the two sides of us fit together. Go to the misfortunate and ask for any contingencies. I’m not sure if something is hidden to protect me. We hesitate to guarantee it and I have to say it is unconventional. We are just there across from two people when she is a child. We connect a ring of children and it will be the next day. She names the horse as her friend and takes my dish in the restaurant. Did you search for the playground with the swing set? If they tell me that our association featured the same air, then I really won’t marry her until she is glad. We couldn’t have moved even one block on that day and it isn’t fun when you aren’t aware of your own arm anymore. I am a providence and she doesn’t know. I’m Mr. Think and my friend is the summer that we coalesced. Were you released in concert that year? She lives in my section, but is a variety of the difficult child. There is too much trouble and she is always wanted. I hate the imminent translations required by the present tense. This is the face of wheat and her hands wipe her mouth, then spit. Do you think this relationship can take more time? I see him in the organization and she apologizes with her lips. For those who like me, what do you like to do? She is always like me, at least for a few hours, but that does not make me destroy it. Do they dance how I wanted to go? The thoughts are somehow changing me and I want this to get rid of my purity. I want to feel old, but I don’t know what happened. Otherwise, I prefer the change in my air and the vessel is filled with the impending. There are many more friends from a few years ago, but we must anticipate the consolidation and the reconsideration. Do you have a bad mood that can be sliced up into small pieces? Please don’t run crazy in love with this and think you like me. What is something glorious and obstructive? 43


There is no more birthday with burning candles and pink frosting. Please do not tell me the name and I will never know. She has a set from your party, but I don’t know a lot about you. Do you have something new to understand us? She sets me down on a little table each time I wanted to customize us. I don’t ever know what to say to her. I smile and here I am. Do you want to team up and go home? There is no microphone, but you are sweet. You don’t have to cooperate in the perfect tense, but she has a comfortable lump and we could fuse each other together. She has me on the kitchen counter and uses steps to push. I only watch after activating and she looks back at me too. Did you take a glass of sweet water and funny salt? The small table has been cleaned up and she gives me a kind of sustenance. I think of her affection as set against me. I can see her body waver and make room for me, but we still have our shorts to wear. Look at those bags of goodies and how much we eat. How do I feel like it is warm? I’m using my fingers and I am always close to her. I am certain parts of the country and they have better exposure than what we can feel anymore. You can put your fingers into the taste and find your birthday. The columns of drawers match until you find the entry and see the difference. Can you remove the fork from the side of the meal? The cake is almost central, but she says we are not required to cut it into pieces. I bring the widespread to your ears, but we have to sit down before we float away. If she has any of this, then I did not show up for the endearment. I get asked to sing, but have to wait until the end. Can you turn it off and say no? In addition, my wardrobe is found in the package and, sometimes, I think there were candlesticks. This inclination is too great, but I do not know what to use. Can the apartment fire make me unable to think? If you close your eyes, a birthday light falls in front of her. That big slice drives the core apart and evens up those relationships. Her songs are wishes, but we should go after big losses at the end. She opens her eyes and breaths sympathy. Do you want me with you if I’m not broken? Her gratitude moves both of us and we go ahead into the night. 44


Here’s her toothbrush, which means she stayed until the end. I want to think of amazing things that might happen next. She brings a new statue of the future and cute earrings. I am trying to decide whether to accept the views or keep looking. She is pregnant with bloat and we don’t know how to break the flow. Can you tell me who are some of the families and companies that disappeared? I think about it and we cross a yellow layer on top that is daunting and beautiful. Does our lack of food mean the end of this relationship? This history of her might have a different ending that we can’t think of yet. Do you remember the first time you applauded? I will wait until astounding things happen or nothing else does. She is next to me, but I am not against the asylum request. My friendly girl has canned snacks and she always gives me a small cookie. Do you remember the formulas and the milk day? We all know that we have made a mistake, but none of us know what you think. We raise our hands on the question and she asks for permission. I clean the board and clap my hands. We have time left from a couple of months ago, but years from now it will be cured. I am an adherent, but I don’t know how big that is. Were you ever a detractor? Before you wait, I will tell the other friendly girls. Her name tells you she is greener to love and environmental protection is no longer our compatriot. Do you know anybody who can drink the milk and not change colors? In the end, your constitution is better than the ecological result. They need you on the fourth level where other young people wanted to think of how to use her. If you want, you can imagine her growing up and changing shapes. Why do we need these things to share? We have the science education to wait for, even if you had to leave a job. I am growing up during a time compiled of forests. Have we been better than the following or should we go back home? She is the new girl and it can be the same again. I used to be so warm and comfortable, which is a fork of my feeling. Have we lost too much energy to unite for an obstruction? My hands have the same thing on the backs of the idea and I lost a small table out of hand. We cannot be moved, but perhaps they do not know that. All these emotions can stop somebody who wants to 45


say I agree. Do you remember the changes to the summer before all the new clothes and the different ways people walked? My hands and my feet and all my teeth seem to fit my body, but not yours. My mouth is referred to as the last line of my life. It is people who break up after the dial is turned and you cannot know if she is the same. I see the start and you need to change constantly. I want to stay the same person for a while, but I am not happy. Is this the first true time of the evening and I do things with my hands that language can’t do. Additionally, I would like to thank the teacher who provided the how-to demonstration. She licks my face so she has the rest of me. The lead singer of the band, do you think she was wired in a different way? We want her at the point by the date, but I don’t know if she will ever stop to tell me what to do. Here’s the explanation: We have at least one sweet thanks tonight. We are sitting at the table with our late growth and final happiness. We are all so tired, but her fingers touch my hand so we can start again. She really loves me and I can feel it when she sways back and forth. Do you want to display yourself for me? She steps up and puts my arms around it until they touch. I promise you she applies pressure to the soft belly section. I wonder about the formal setting and how I am in your life. During the exposure, the body starts to lump and click. I might lose my go hand the day after the radiation. Did you get any of the serious work after you arrived? She leans her fingers over the ridge, but she doesn’t know if she can pull it up. If you are asked, we are in the new wild. The weight must be put on before the decline of the cities. Did you raise enough to live near a brick wall or anything standing? She is just a little over the bridge and out in the open. I incorporate my internal units for a few hours before I move next to it. Any kind of great effort can send me out again and I’m living in my own acceptance. She bends down to take the request, but tells me I have too many clothes for the future. You can make a charm of the bed, but it can’t hold you. Have you unpacked people before? I don’t remember if she ever solved my pants, but so much of our travel enters through my legs. We return to the bedroom and start with her. She has 46


a rolling body and anticipates what is diminished. How do we do it before anybody knows what happens? She throws things inside my chest and it is almost too much to hold. I ask her to do it to me and it changes my whole life. Her solvent body can pull me all the way down. We are still together, but we press our advantage. In this way, we all have some perspective on the space between us. Are you trying to solve the future and draw near to me? We have our heads on the table and the bridge is beyond me. She believes that a better and more delicate change rises out of the top of my head. We move because she thinks our buildings are going to be popping. We put our bodies next to each other and nobody knows how much we could be together. It doesn’t feel like the past anymore and we are excited about the sinking. She sits on her knees and I feel the interest between her fingers. The pavement of a generation is so close to us and I feel this way depending on the place. My legs will return as weapons in the future. I sit on my portioned square and she relaxes because of the work. Do you presume that I can see your face or recognize neighbors? She feels like a rich body of small scratches, but it’s clean at the bottom of my stomach. Your happy day has slowed down my eyes and our stomachs have been combined. There is some kind of strange sound and then we all laugh. You must wait for a good feeling because the next steps are long distance. Is it my body if it does not keep moving? My body is laid out next to her long body and we must be good until she stops. She is on the wall for another sweet taste and her shoulders seem to shake, but it might be a lie. Did I tell you about her little curve where the openings are? I arrange us face-to-face so that we create an allegiance. There are holes where there are breaks in our skin.

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Gina Abelkop

Daytime Provisions In the great virginal aviary I call home Soon guts will sing Little sauced gut gulls with fish hanging from their lips And the most peculiarly tuned forks‌ I wonder where

they will take them

To 1863 Where Dora begins Or the other way, plotting an escape from New Jersey Think about your aptitude for epistolary banquets What had that meant Up ‘til now? If at all? And what will it mean tomorrow? Sounds akin to graveyard gates Mouthing off at each other during an eclipse How there be a sound so silver and sallow but big big as all our ladeled sky? I live in it I respond

adequately

I cultivate moon blindness in all manners of gelded friends (my sweet 48

little beans)


Rita Feinstein

Fourteen

This January, your only joy is holding the corn snake, feeling her varnished coils slalom through your fingers and loop around your wrists like a living bracelet. Her eyes are drops of raspberry syrup and they regard you without suspicion, without hunger. She makes you burn. The impenetrable beauty of her slender curves makes you burn. Children cluster around you, slack-jawed, asking is she poisonous, does she bite, can I hold her? You let them stroke her polished pink scales, and you are patient with them, even though you want to curl and corkscrew alone with her, garland yourself in her hard shine, hiss your secrets to her, tell her how much you have in common, how you could be sisters— glossy gyres unraveling into uncharted air, not stopping to eat, to think, to love.

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Kenneth Pobo

The Giantess

By Leonora Carrington

Don’t think that I’m not thinking because my head is small. My body thinks too, differently. Birds hatch from thoughts, fly over my skin nest. Beneath me, the yellow world thinks sad thoughts, keeps running, it’s better than standing still, less dangerous. They wonder do I mean to hurt them or if, being closer to heaven, could I stuff a few prayers in a god’s ear so they wouldn’t have to enter time’s gray boat? They must enter. As must I, but I’m so large I won’t fit— I’ve never fit in. This is my strength and grief. People worry that one day I may need to sit, that such a movement would surely destroy the world or their place in it. They don’t know that I can become invisible. I fall asleep among them and they think I’m still standing. A giantess is like a question mark, should always be upright. I bring the question that I am down to them, have no answers. To anything. I don’t need them. Or I need them to create a new kind of fog, one that invents a primary color, washes it in a stream, lets it cover the ground without ever lifting.

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Š 2012 Leonora Carrington / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Autumn Giles

Cat Eye Glasses You get up, like someone’s trying to steal it from you. Meeting the day is a process of elimination: when there’s no more bed there’s the cat and the dotted outline of the bed. You grab the cat and hold its damn face to the world. The woman passing under the window thinks lifting the cat is a tender gesture. You just need a witness.

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S. Frederic Liss

The Woman with Sunlight in Her Eyes The woman first appeared the day after the elderly waiter and the chef moved the tables and chairs to the sidewalk outside the café as they did each year at the beginning of the outdoor season. She wore a peasant blouse that reminded the waiter of the women in the sepia photograph he inherited from his grandfather. His grandfather promised to write the names of his great uncles and great aunts and cousins on the bottom of the photograph, but he died with this promise unfulfilled. The waiter owed much to his grandfather, a waiter like himself, who taught him to respect people so he would find happiness in his work, who taught him to love books which the public library, its steps guarded by great stone lions, loaned him for free, and who taught him to read Dante Alighieri and Boccaccio and Italo Calvino in the original Italian. This much and more the waiter owed to his grandfather. Each day during the outdoor season sunlight passed between the city’s tall buildings to illuminate a patch of sidewalk across the street from the café and here the woman sat, cross-legged. The white of her blouse with its red and yellow filigrees and the forest green of her long skirt into which she gathered her feet and legs grew like an untended flower out of the unkempt gray of the sidewalk’s cement, the kind of flower, the waiter’s grandfather would say, that would not do well in a garden. An infant lay in the woman’s lap, sometimes sleeping, sometimes taking the breast, sometimes smiling at the people who dropped money in her hat, a shepherd’s cap like those worn by the men who tended sheep in the rocky uplands that surrounded the grandfather’s village. The woman made eye contact with each of these people and when she did her eyes sparkled with sunlight. “Who can eat with a gypsy across the street?” the chef who owned the café asked. His bushy eyebrows so overhung his face that his voice always came out of a shadow. For years he had cooked in the kitchens of others, savings his dollars to open his own restaurant. “Paolo must have sent her.” Paolo had inherited the café on the next block from his father and resented the chef first for luring his customers 53


away with a better risotto, then refusing to sell him the café even though he offered twice its value. “In my grandfather’s village,” the waiter said as he wiped the morning dew from the table tops so they would be clean and dry for lunch, “the widows gathered across from the café where he worked each morning during the outdoor season. He swept the sidewalk for them and took them yesterday’s bread for the bona fortuna they brought.” The chef raised his eyebrows, then busied himself folding linen napkins into triangles. The waiter took a package of food across the street and handed it to the woman. She smiled and sunlight reflected off the windshield of a passing taxi creating a corona of gold on the wall behind her. Her eyes caught the sun and the waiter turned away from their brilliance. The baby slept wrapped in a pillow case, indifferent to the gift and to the lullaby the woman hummed. A gust of wind blew the woman’s hair across her face. The waiter’s nose filled with the scent of baby powder, the scent of the infant’s skin, that special perfume newborns excrete to attract adults. The woman lowered her head so the infant could take her breast and the shadow of her hair drained the sunlight from her eyes. The street was silent except for the humming of the woman and the smacking of the baby’s lips and the sound of the wind, not the whistling sound of wind sliding off steel and glass and granite but the rustling sound of wind picking its way through leaves, perhaps the leaves of the yellow poplars which lined the main street of his grandfather’s village in the sepia photograph. Trees as tall as the centuries of their age, trees that may have been saplings in the time of the Caesars. The wind reminded the waiter of the lullabies his grandfather hummed to him and the lullabies he hummed to his own grandchildren. “Mala, mala, mala,” the chef said when the waiter returned. The waiter poured a glass of water for the day’s first patron. Soon the tables both inside and outside were full and the waiter, busy with orders, did not think about the woman and child until the café was empty and the sun had moved across the sky, taking with it the patch of sunlight and the woman and child. The chef said, “I will pay her twice what Paolo does and tomorrow she will beg at his door.” He wiped the bar with 54


circular motions, the same spot over and over. “She brings bona fortuna.” Rain and clouds settled in for the next several days. A thick morning fog atop the buildings transformed the city boulevard into a village footpath. On these mornings, the waiter walked to work accompanied by the stories his grandfather told after Sunday dinner as he sipped dessert wine and sectioned fresh oranges. Story by story, footstep by footstep, the village became a city again as the tops of the buildings reappeared out of the fog. The rain did not abate for days and the weather emptied the tables of the café, both inside and out. “Does the rain spoil the taste of my risotto?” the chef asked the waiter. Early in the second week, the sun broke through to illuminate the sidewalk once more and the woman and child returned and with them the patrons who laughed over their risotto and wine. The waiter walked with a lighter step, but the chef burrowed deep within his eyebrows and did not see that patrons who visited the woman and child on their way to the café ordered more expensive meals and left bigger tips. One afternoon, the chef seized the package of food the waiter had prepared for the woman and child. “Let Paolo feed her.” “Take your grievance to Don Joseph; but do not punish the woman and child.” “God would sooner grant me an audience.” “I will call and he will see you.” “He would take your call?” “His grandfather was a waiter at the same café as mine.” The next afternoon during the quiet time the chef went to Don Joseph bearing a bottle of red wine. Don Joseph sat behind his desk peeling an orange in a continuous spiral. The years had ridged the back of his hand with blood vessels that, through his translucent skin, were as dark as the waters of an underground stream. “She squats and begs where my customers can see her,” the chef said. “Paolo sent her to scare away my trade.” “She brings you bona fortuna, I hear, this woman and child.” The rind swayed from the steady motion of Don Joseph’s hands. It hung by a thread as Don Joseph carved out a section of orange, offering it first to the chef who declined, 55


then spearing it with his paring knife and eating it slowly, sucking out the juice before chewing the pulp. “I beseech you, Don Joseph, for permission to have her removed. I will call the police. They will not harm her.” Don Joseph dabbed his lips with a napkin and raised a goblet of water, his hand so steady the water, even as he drank, seemed a sheet of glass. “Search within yourself for the solution to your problem.” The outdoor season continued, sunny and warm with rain only after the café closed at night. The woman and child arrived with the sun each morning and departed with the sun each afternoon. People now waited in line. The chef, too busy cooking risotto, too busy running his café, had no time to think about the woman and child except during the quiet time between lunch and dinner. Each day the waiter packaged food and each day the chef restrained him and each day the waiter returned the food to the kitchen and threw it away without unwrapping it. It was what Don Joseph wanted him to do, the chef believed. Summer waned. The hours of daylight decreased. Shadows absorbed the patch of sunlight. The woman and child no longer sat on the sidewalk across the street from the café. People lined up outside other doors, outside Paolo’s door. The quiet time between lunch and dinner lengthened. The chef and waiter returned the outdoor tables and chairs to storage. The afternoon of the solstice during the Christmas season, Don Joseph came to the café accompanied by a woman. He selected a table in the corner of the room where he could see the other tables, but they were empty and there was nothing to see. The woman sat to his left, facing the kitchen. “Hello, my friend,” Don Joseph said to the waiter. “Cognac, please, and anisette for my daughter, Maria.” Maria smiled. Her eyes sparkled red and green with the Christmas lights. “And an orange with a paring knife.” The waiter arranged the order on the tray, the orange and paring knife in the center, the cognac and anisette on either side. “You must honor Don Joseph,” offering the tray to the chef, “with your service.” “Why so sad?” Don Joseph asked the chef. “Soon it will be Christmas and tomorrow the days begin to get longer.” “Where do the people who eat my risotto in summer go 56


in winter? My risotto has not changed.” Don Joseph swished the cognac in the snifter while Maria peeled the orange with the paring knife. Juice dripped from her fingers. The rind dangled from the orange like pasta fresh from the machine. Don Joseph placed ten silver dollars on the tray. “Leave us, please, so we may enjoy your hospitality.” Don Joseph and Maria spoke in a dialect the waiter recognized from his grandfather’s village. The village priest had banned that dialect from the church because it was too profane, but the men spoke it in the cafés, the women by the stream where they laundered clothes, the children in the rocky field where they played soccer. As a child, the waiter’s parents and grandparents spoke that dialect when they wanted to keep secrets from him. By the time he learned enough to understand, his grandparents had died, but he still remembered enough to understand what he overheard. The waiter poured himself a glass of red wine and held it to the light to examine its color. Soon chairs scraped against the floor and the outer door opened and closed. The waiter sat the chef at the corner table and set the glass of red wine amidst the orange rind, empty glasses, and paring knife. Quickly, the chef drank it and gestured for another. While he drank it, the waiter removed the key to the café from his vest pocket and placed the paring knife in the chef’s right hand, then stepped outside and locked the door. The cold had cleansed the air. The holiday lights and wreathes, the scarves of passers-by decorated with reindeer or snowflakes, the dancing Befanas on the streetlights, all were sharp and in focus. The line between sunlight and shadow on the side of the building was as keen-edged as the blade of the paring knife. The afternoon sun reflected off a window above the waiter’s head and cast a glimmer of light on the sidewalk across the street from the café where the woman and child sat in season. The wind scraped the steel and glass and granite as it fought its way through the city to reach the open water to the east. The waiter tossed the key into the patch of sunlight and walked into the wind, humming the lullaby he sang to his grandchildren when they were babies, the lullaby his grandfather had sung to him. Except for the wind and the lullaby, the street was silent. 57


Alexander Rothman Reeling


Kirby Wright

October in South Moravia Moravia without sun, Ducks huddle on the Oslava. Paprika Girl dances the western bank Wearing an orchid crown. The aroma of schnitzel From Mrs. Mesto’s window. ˇ The first grape leaves fall. Chateaus needing repair Appear historical. Chimneys missing their plaster Expose red-bricked skeletons. Walls of sgraffito kings and knights. The dialogue of locals passing: Can’t understand their phrases. Still, I know some are angry. Do they see me watching Through Hotel Zámek glass? I hear grinding like coffee— The wheels of a stroller Over cobblestone.

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Jeffrey Alfier

The Bouncer In the Wolf Bar he bolt-shot a bourbon, downed a pilsner, smoked Pall Malls on the porch. The owner joined him, asked if he recalled the one good band they’d hired, wanting them back. He said for him, band names always faded to backbeats blurred in Sunday hangovers. Everything here waits to touch its own ghost. Half-full, even the moon looked wronged tonight. Climbing his Harley for I-40 West, tobacco burned toward his lips like a fuse. Shifting gears, he passed the laundromat where his woman once lip-synced to radios set atop some defunct washing machine, her figure backlit by late florescence. That spectral voice was no surrogate now for the touch of young skin, her final months in a wheelchair, muscle cells dying slow, asking if he recalled how she could dance.

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Jeffrey Alfier

Apprenticed to the Sea Angelo, you go home ghosting the scent of your grandfather’s nets, and of bluefin, a scaling knife in your pocket, the blood of unhooked gills stuck to your vest, hearty breath of surf rhythmic behind your eyes. You reach for the bottle of Cinzano as you speak to the wildness of uncertain tides, of kneeling in prows to plead the Virgin’s help, of being a mile offshore, a good day’s catch, the sudden drop into the trough of a wave.

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Camilo Roldán

Por Qué

Though owl would have been true to the original, quetzal cuts full-color contrast with donkey. Among the various creatures of nightmare let us not condescend to the donkey and pair him with reason. King of stupid. Crown of thoughtless neck. If you push on the shoulder while we pull on the legs the rope will do its work. Goya’s etching, why should there be answers? For this the cynic, the grandiloquent cover. For this the repeated, public marks of a print master. Among 72 bodies in a rancho we are all basely the same as our killers, not much. Where’s your passport? Me neither. But hell, what’s another missing missing person? As in mud where the rain is remembered those hoof marks tell of a donkey, filthy as a Spanish joke whose broad stripes and bright cotton dresses, long eyelashes— Quetzal, why do you die in captivity, in a rancho? The donkey would like to know.

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Ashley Sgro

Cherub Face Lester stood in his driveway with one foot on the pavement while the other sat crooked on a large decorative stone. His hands were clasped under his stomach as he stared at the open field in front of his house. “Are you coming in yet?” His wife approached him from behind. “I’m tired of being outside.” “Why don’t we go for a walk?” “We just came back from one.” He began to squeeze his fingers when she turned to look at his face. “We didn’t go that far. One more, please?” “We went far enough. We’ve had about all we can handle.” She took a breath. “We’re too old to be out all day. Look, your forehead is starting to sweat.” Waving her hand toward their front door, she took a step from where he was standing. “We’re going inside.” He told her that he didn’t care about his sweaty forehead and started to leave. She grabbed his arm and told him to wait. “Alright,” she said, “I’ll go. But I know you just want to see her again.” The road’s condition worsened after twenty minutes of walking. Almost all the asphalt was broken apart. Lester’s wife had a difficult time keeping her balance and grabbed onto his left shoulder for support. “God, this road,” she said as she wobbled on the crushed asphalt. “It needs to be fixed. Even you’re having a hard time.” “I’m fine,” he said while slowing his pace. “And nobody’s going to fix this road because nobody travels this far anymore.” “Nobody but us.” Reaching the edge of the busted blacktop, they stepped onto the pathway of grass that Lester had cut the previous afternoon. She eyed the barn. “God, I hate looking at that thing. I don’t want to go in there anymore.” “Then you can wait outside,” he said as they reached the door of the old barn. “I’ll only be a few minutes.” Inside, Lester rested on the stool that sat underneath a hole in the upper level of the barn. He tilted his head and stared through the opening covered in plexiglass. “Is she still there?” 70


“Yeah.” “Well, there’s your satisfaction for the day.” “We’re not leaving yet.” He stared at the girl’s plump face. “I still wonder how you got up there,” he whispered. “She probably used a ladder,” his wife said with a laugh as she leaned her head through the doorway. “I’m leaving in five minutes without you. I know you’ll be here at least another hour to gawk at her. You’ll probably stay all night, and I don’t have the decency to drag you back to the house with me.” As she spoke, he stretched his arms toward the transparent covering so he could explore the outline of her body with the tips of his fingers. Starting at the top of her head, he brought his fingers around the left and right sides of her knotted hair that covered the entire upper half of the plexiglass. His fingers continued to travel up and around her shoulders, arms, and hands, which were positioned as if she had fallen from the sky flailing around in panic before hitting the ground. He traced lines down the outside of her thin dress, around its hem, and further down her legs, feet, and toes. “She’s not your granddaughter or even your daughter. Most importantly,” his wife said with tightened lips, “she’s not your wife. She’s nothing to be played with. She probably just wants to be left alone to nest up there like a sick bird.” She walked away from the barn’s entrance without looking back at her husband. “Stop pretending, Lester.” The girl’s tongue shot out of her mouth to touch the tip of her upper lip as soon as his wife stopped talking. Jumping up from his stool, he gave a cry of excitement. “You’re trying to say my name, aren’t you?” He shook his hands at her in wild anticipation. “Please, no one’s here but me. Go ahead.” He waited and watched her still wide-eyed face. “Please,” he begged, “I can’t hear you!” Lester sat with his knees on the floor, gazing up toward the roof of the barn. Without a sound, his upper body began to sink slowly to the soles of his shoes. He continued to fall back as if frightened by the girl’s silence. She hovered above him—a foul angel stuck in the filthy air of the barn—while he trembled beneath her, teeth exposed and panting like an animal too afraid to defend itself in the heat of a late afternoon. 71


biographies Gina Abelkop is a Pisces living in Northern California with a pug named after Ava Gardner. She is the founder/editor of the feminist press Birds of Lace and author of the wayward collection of poems Darling Beastlettes (Apostrophe Books, 2012). Visit her online at themoonstop.blogspot.com.

Jeffrey Alfier is a three-time Pushcart nominee and a nominee for the UK Forward Prize in Poetry. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Crab Orchard Review, James Dickey Review, and New York Quarterly. His latest chapbook is The Gathering Light at San Cataldo (2012), and his first full-length book of poems, The Wolf Yearling, will be published in 2012 by Pecan Grove Press. He is founder and co-editor of San Pedro River Review. Chloe Caldwell is the author of the essay collection Legs Get Led Astray (Future Tense Books). Her non-fiction has appeared in The Rumpus, The Nervous Breakdown, Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, Freerange Non-fiction, and The Faster Times. She is the founder and curator of the Hudson River Loft Reading series and she lives in upstate New York. www.chloecaldwell.com Rita Feinstein is a senior at Wells College, where she is pursuing an English/Creative Writing degree. Her work has appeared in The Santa Fe Literary Review, Adobe Walls, and Menacing Hedge. In the future, she would like to live in a pirate ship and eat lots of braised cabbage. Molly George was born in 1986 in Washington DC. In 2008, she received her BFA at Savannah College of Art and Design. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Autumn Giles is a poet from Montana who lives in Queens, NY. Her work has appeared in La Petite Zine, DIAGRAM, Brink, InDigest, LUMINA, The Columbia Review, The Dory Reader from Small Anchor Press, and Lines + Stars. Autumn is creator and host of a podcast about food and words called Alphabet Soup (alphabetsouppodcast.com). 72


Christine Hamm is a PhD candidate in English Literature at Drew University. She won the MiPoesias First Annual Chapbook Competition with her manuscript, Children Having Trouble with Meat. Her poetry has been published in Orbis, Pebble Lake Review, Lodestar Quarterly, Poetry Midwest, Rattle, Dark Sky, and many others. She has been nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize, and she teaches English at CUNY. Echo Park, her third book of poems, came out from Blazevox this fall. Christine was a runner-up to the Poet Laureate of Queens. Michael Kimball is the author of three novels, including Dear Everybody (which The Believer calls “a curatorial masterpiece”) and, most recently, Us (which was named to Oprah’s Reading List). His work has been on NPR’s All Things Considered and in Vice, as well as The Guardian, Bomb, and New York Tyrant, and has been translated into a dozen languages. He is also responsible for Michael Kimball Writes Your Life Story (on a postcard). His new novel, Big Ray, will publish September 18, 2012 (Bloomsbury). michael-kimball.com Eugenia Leigh is the author of Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows, a finalist for both the National Poetry Series and the Yale Series of Younger Poets, and forthcoming via Four Way Books in 2014. A Korean American poet and Kundiman fellow, Eugenia’s poems have appeared in various publications including North American Review, PANK, and the Best New Poets anthology. She holds an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. S. Frederic Liss has published 19 short stories and has received The Florida Review Editor’s Award; James Still Prize; Midnight Sun Award; Third Prize in the Arthur Edelstein Prize; Finalist for the Raymond Carver Award; Honorable Mention in the New Letters Literary Award; finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Short Fiction Prize and finalist in the Bakeless Prize Competition. He earned an MFA from Emerson College, Boston, MA and leads a fiction workshop at the St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA. Mark Mazzoli is from Oswego, NY, a town on the edge of Lake Ontario. His work has previously appeared in the Mississippi Review and Crate Magazine. He is currently working on several projects melding his writing with music and film.

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Simon Moreton is a British cartoonist and academic based in Bristol. He self publishes a regular autobiographical zine, Smoo, and The Escapologist, a more abstract comic that explores the heaviness and lightness of things. He also runs Better, Drawn, a website where people can share stories about their experience of long-term mental or physical illnesses in the form of comics. Kenneth Pobo won the 2011 qarrtsiluni chapbook contest for Ice And Gaywings, published in November 2011. Forthcoming is Save My Place from Finishing Line Press. Victoria Redel is the author of two books of poetry and three books of fiction, most recently the novel The Border of Truth. A new collection of poems, Woman Without Umbrella, and a story collection, Make Me Do Things are are forthcoming in 2012 and 2013. Loverboy was awarded the 2001 S. Mariella Gable Novel Award and the 2002 Forward Silver Literary Fiction Prize and was chosen in 2001 as a Los Angeles Times Best Book, and was also adapted for a feature film directed by Kevin Bacon. Her fiction and poetry have been widely anthologized. Redel’s work has been translated into five languages. Her most recent collection of poems, Swoon, was a finalist for the James Laughlin Award. Redel is a professor at Sarah Lawrence College. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for The Arts and the Fine Arts Work Center. Camilo Roldán is a poet and translator living in Brooklyn, NY. He co-curates the Triptych Reading Series at 11th Street Bar and is the author of a chapbook of translations, Amílkar U., Nadaísta in Translation (These Signals Press 2011). His poems have appeared in various journals, including SET, La Fovea, Lungfull!, and PANK. Alexander Rothman is a poet and cartoonist living in Queens, New York. His poetry has appeared in The Seneca Review and his undergraduate thesis, a collection of original poems and translations from Ukrainian, was a recipient of Harvard’s Hoopes Prize. For the past several years he has worked exclusively in this hybrid medium. More work is available at his website, www.versequential.com.

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David Russomano graduated in 2006 with a BA in creative writing from Messiah College. His poetry has been featured in Write from Wrong, This Great Society, Red Booth Review, Phantom Kangaroo, REDzine, Thoughtsmith, and Pure Francis. It is also scheduled to appear in forthcoming issues of The Writing Disorder, Poetry For The Masses, and Lowestoft Chronicle. You can find him in pw.org’s database of poets. He currently teaches English in Turkey. Ashley Sgro has always been infatuated with words and writing. As an avid reader and eternal writer, she dedicates her free time to composing poetry and flash fiction. Ashley currently lives with her family in New Jersey. She can be contacted at ashleysgro@mail.org. Kevin Spenst’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Fire, Contemporary Verse 2, Rhubarb Magazine, Capilano Review, Dandelion, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Poetry is Dead, The Maynard, The Enpipe Line, Writer’s Digest Valentine’s Day Collection: Poems, Letters and Essays and Ditch Poetry. At the beginning of 2011, his manuscript, The Gang’s All Down by the Abecedarium, was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry. Near the end of 2011, he won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry for a suite of poems from another manuscript, Ignite. One of his poems is slated to appear in the upcoming anthology Vancouver V6A (Arsenal Pulp Press) Nicole Steinberg is the editor of the literary anthology Forgotten Borough: Writers Come to Terms with Queens, as well as an editor at large at LIT magazine. Her poetry has appeared in H_NGM_N, No Tell Motel, BOMB, Gulf Coast, and other publications. She is the author of Birds of Tokyo (Dancing Girl Press, 2011) and founder of Earshot, a NYC reading series. She currently lives in Philadelphia. B. Thom Stevenson lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn, where he makes big paintings and little sculptures. His work relies heavily on chance and the serendipity of finding objects. Lately, B. Thom has been producing various weapons from found objects in preparation for an art installation with Truck Yeah, a mobile art exhibit taking place during Bushwick open studios. Parallel to these assaulting physical objects B. Thom Stevenson has been working on mixed media diptych paintings using incompatible media. 75


Called “disturbing, edgy and provocative” by Book Magazine, Terese Svoboda’s work is often the surreal poetry of a nightmare yet is written with such wit, verve and passion that she can address the direst subject. “She will, of course, be compared to Willa Cather,” wrote Kurt Andersen about her new Bohemian Girl. She has taught at Williams, William and Mary, Bennington, New School, Sarah Lawrence, Davidson and elsewhere. Skye Tyler is a Gemini who lives in Brooklyn, NY. Kirby Wright was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where he represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii. He was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Residency in Edgartown, Mass., and the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic. He is the author of the companion novels Punahou Blues and Moloka’i Nui Ahina, both set in the islands. Unsaid recently awarded Kate Wyer the “Joan Scott Memorial Fiction Award” and nominated her for a Pushcart. Her work has appeared in Keyhole, Kill Author, The Collagist, PANK, Exquisite Corpse, and decomP. She attended the Summer Literary Seminars in Lithuania on a fellowship from Fence. While there she also participated in the Vilnius edition of the Literary Death Match. Stephen Zerbe studied architecture in Savannah, Georgia and lives in Brooklyn working on set design and apartment repair. The collages included in this issue show that homemade crafts like ones made by Martha Stewart have weird texture and look even more interesting when they get painted and then smeared across pictures of life in Egypt and the Soviet Union. They are inspired by travel posters, cereal boxes, and other kinds of lust and desire advertisement. For more info go to zerbetrue.com.

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Gina Abelkop Jeffrey Alfier Chloe Caldwell Rita Feinstein Molly George Autumn Giles Christine Hamm Michael Kimball Eugenia Leigh S. Frederic Liss Mark Mazzoli Simon Moreton Kenneth Pobo Victoria Redel Camilo Roldรกn Alexander Rothman David Russomano Ashley Sgro Kevin Spenst Nicole Steinberg B. Thom Stevenson Terese Svoboda Skye Tyler Kirby Wright Kate Wyer Stephen Zerbe


Moonshot #4: Correspondences