They were always inside them—
often smiling like we liked to do
They were always inside them—
They were always inside them—
often smiling like we liked to do
Tim Suermondt is the author of two full-length collections of poems: Trying to Help the Elephant Man Dance (The Backwaters Press, 2007) and Just Beautiful (New York Quarterly Books, 2010). He has been published in many journals, in print and on-line.
Benjamin Norris is a poet from Bristol, England, whose work regularly appears in several literary journals internationally. His debut collection is due for publication later this year.
We grow inside houses, and remember each spring
how it seeped through the flooring –
bringing such thoughts, a cracking of dust –
With elliptical pulse in the sky,
seven AM announces
William Doreski teaches at Keene State College in New Hampshire. His most recent books of poetry are City of Palms and June Snow Dance, both 2012. He has published three critical studies, including Robert Lowell’s Shifting Colors. His essays, poetry, fiction, and reviews have appeared in many journals, including Massachusetts Review, Atlanta Review, Notre Dame Review, The Alembic, New England Quarterly, Worcester Review, Harvard Review, Modern Philology, Antioch Review, and Natural Bridge.
You see me standing by the tree. You ask me the time. I show you my watch, from my pocket. It doesn’t have a band anymore, but it shows the time.
She walks toward the stern
as if in ether, floating
There are four in the car: Bridget and Jack, who have been cuddling in the backseat the whole way; Anita, who is driving; and Shane, her all-but-fiancé, who is navigating. Anita and Shane have been together so long that they don’t hold hands in public much anymore, or cuddle in backseats. And for the whole drive, they’ve been watching the other two snuggling in the rearview with smiles that are indulgent, if a little strained.
Liana Vrajitoru Andreasen is originally from Romania and currently lives in McAllen, TX where she is an Associate Professor at South Texas College. She has published stories in Fiction International, The Raven Chronicles, The Willow Review, Mobius, a Journal of Social Change, Interstice, Children, Churches and Daddies, Down in the Dirt, and The Cloud anthology…. Read more »
Kristen Hamelin Tracey is an MFA candidate at the City College of New York and received her BA in English from Harvard University. Her recent fiction publications include Prick of the Spindle, Euphony, Waccamaw, and the Raleigh Review.
In the sprint to publish the issue, writing the introduction is the step I look forward to the least. Not because I dislike writing it, but because I can’t wait to get the issue online and in front of readers’ eyes. As a result, my introductions are short and fail at the task of communicating… Read more »
Mark Barr was reared in the wilds of central Arkansas. His fiction has appeared in the Wisconsin Review, Optic, Twice Removed, and other journals, and earned him fellowships from Jentel Arts Residency, Blue Mountain Center, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, I-Park Artists’ Enclave, the Millay Colony, and Yaddo. Mark signed on as Fiction Editor starting with… Read more »
Graham Tugwell is an Irish writer and performer and recipient of the College Green Literary Prize 2010. His work has appeared in over sixty journals, including Anobium, The Missing Slate, The Quotable, Pyrta, Jersey Devil Press, L’Allure Des Mots and Poddle. He has lived his whole life in the village where his stories take place…. Read more »
Kris Kunz graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in elementary education and received a Masters in English literature from Oakland University. Her poetry has also appeared in the Dunes Review. She taught for many years in suburban Detroit and now lives and writes in Frankfort, Michigan, with her dog, horse and husband.
Margaret Abigail Flowers originally hails from Houston, Texas but currently resides at a boarding school in lower northern Michigan. She is the winner of numerous regional and national awards for her poetry and playwriting, and this is her first official publication. She will be attending Stanford University in the fall of 2013 as an undergraduate… Read more »
Herbert Woodward Martin is the author of eight volumes of poems including: Inscribing My Name published by Kent State University Press. He has published in a number of American and European journals. He is closely associated with Paul Laurence Dunbar the 19th African American poet whose works he has performed across the United States. Dunbar, born… Read more »
Chuck Rybak lives in Wisconsin and is currently an Assistant Professor of English and Humanistic Studies at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He is the author of two chapbooks, Nickel and Diming My Way Through and Liketown. His full-length collection, Tongue and Groove, was released in 2007 by Main Street Rag. His new collection, </war>,… Read more »
Born within whispering distance of Lake Michigan and riddled by the Grand River, Z.G. Tomaszewski currently serves on the boards of Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters and Lamp Light Music Festival. Poems have been published in numerous literary and poetry journals in both the U.S. and Ireland.
Morning I am myself. I pander out to the pinewoods, perambulate Mooselung Pond. There’s fresh coyote scat, already a mushroom prongs up from it. I gather the canine’s tracks, prints written in mud, read where it came from, where it went. As I process these I am losing part of myself; I try to collect… Read more »
Oh how light the night sky is sister where there are no clouds Loons wail I’m here where are you I’m over here the moon hovers in the clear It’s all just shades sister light blue aqua mad midnight how much black or white the way you butter your toast… Read more »
It’s not worth writing down dreams except for the one about Ali early 1970’s Ali white shorts black trim Ali bouncing on his feet like a tapping man can tap bouncing on his feet like a hummingbird can hum sweating through in a one-bulb locker room where the man handlers have handled rubbed down a… Read more »
How did we come to Cuba from hello? He stood guard at Guantanamo, and before I can pry he points to the treatment: massive canisters marked Ultracide, Maxforce, First Strike, Bedlam. Beads of bait will line my counters, the pump and spray will ply poison borders around my home no bugs will live to cross…. Read more »
I first learned the killing will of men ￼when my mother was away in town, ￼and my father was baling hay ￼in a back field beyond the house.￼ The rancher’s boy and I had parked ￼to gather nuts for my mother’s pie ￼under the old pecan tree, where he ￼found a rattler, a diamondback, ￼bigger… Read more »
The Words of Rosa Luxemburg(1871-1919) (a found poem: in Adrienne Rich’s notes for her Collected Poems) See to it that you remain human. There is no special prescription. All I know is once I went walking In the Sudende fields The sunset’s red light was falling On the wheat.
(in a note from Judith Anne Still) On the other side In the brightness of the room Flanked by archangels We consecrate ourselves with The arduous work that goes Into stained glass windows. One true realization delights As when the sunlight bathes The congregation in silent And astonishing rays.
“Save me…from the power of the dog.” from Psalm 22 There must have been dogs circling you, Christ, as you hung on the cross, wild dogs drawn in by the stench of death. They moved slowly along the edges of the crowd, their mouths drooling at the prospect of warm human flesh. But maybe I’m… Read more »
Eyes are elsewhere. So no-one sees the child at loose in the street, dodging bin and lamppost and striking the pavement with stinging feet. A phantom manifesting; thunder through open windows, as a flash of colour, sudden, in the doors of shops and houses. No stopping for traffic as he cuts across a car park,… Read more »
This issue was barely published in 2012. It’s been a momentous year. A year in which I married my wonderful wife, relocated to Arkansas, where we bought our first house, and started a new job. 2012 was packed. Life changes filled the months and Scintilla (and my own writing) languished. That will change in 2013,… Read more »
Through it all I call myself the Wise Son, though I notice no one else does. I know death is unknowable—silent, nondescript as the crypt we’ll slip my mother in. I know that crypt, helped the concrete shape itself into the mausoleum it wanted to become. I listened to Carlos sing his Spanish love songs…. Read more »
One lies down in the roadside shade, To rest his head on a stone there; As lark-song scents the summer night, He sleeping sees the spiral flight Of their drops and their scaling wings; Another turns the final blade, Leaves his book with the fallen figs; Leaves the shade of this canopy, This cover of… Read more »
A frequenter of our late streets, This object of scoffing and jeers; When shunned by streams of passers-by, He’d speak to stray dogs and pigeons And stab his fingers at the sky; A sad sight, a nasty bother; A sight-seer of our squalid ways – Sign of sad times, said another; So he was last… Read more »
That’s what my neighbor a mile down the road where I walk our dog always says the first time I see him out in the early April air. He stands there, bent into the wind, his smile wry, eyes agate blue clear. “Mine too,” I always say though all I grow are patches of flowers… Read more »
Plucking reedy notes around the pond, the bullfrogs sound the song of evening, calling back the afternoon from the cattails’ close warm breath above the cool that now makes room for dark to seep between the leaves among the stalks into the night.
T. Fox Dunham resides outside of Philadelphia PA—author and historian. He’s published in over 100 international journals and anthologies and writes for Team Obama. He’s a cancer survivor. His friends call him fox, being his totem animal, and his motto is: Wrecking civilization one story at a time. http://www.facebook.com/tfoxdunham & Twitter: @TFoxDunham
Robert Earleywine has been teaching literature and fiction writing at Washington University in St. Louis since 1983. He served in the Air Force as a sentrydog handler during the Vietnam era, but in Southern California. He has worked as a shoe salesman, bartender and high school teacher in the inner city. He has two sons,… Read more »
David Olsen’s third poetry chapbook, Sailing to Atlantis, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press, which also published his New World Elegies (2011). His Greatest Hits 1983-2000 (2001) is among the volumes in the Greatest Hits invitational series of poetry chapbooks published by Pudding House. David’s poems, plays and stories have earned recognition in more than… Read more »
Scott Weaver lives in Austin, Texas, and is working on his first book of poems. You can find him on Twitter @scottweaver.
Laura Grothaus hails from Cincinnati, Ohio. Her work has also appeared in Plum Creek Review and Attention: People with Body Parts.
Daniel was born in Sweden in 1983. He now lives in York, England, where he works at a boarding school while also completing a PhD in Philosophy, on the topic of Christian art. In addition to his Swedish and English influences, Daniel draws much inspiration from Russian sources. His poems have appeared in many journals… Read more »
After years of working in the dime store, Mother bought a honky-tonk tavern. She rented a room upstairs to one of her customers and then she married him. Alton Grainger, Mother’s fifth husband, was just Mother’s height and the age of my oldest sister. He was from North Carolina. He’d boxed in the army, said… Read more »
It is the sinew strung between rising and falling that yields flight; the interplay of muscle, feather, air that holds the fan-tailed hawk still in the breeze. Even the strongest wings rely on the same nothingness for lift and pull, as we, who trust the tension between breaths to keep us safely tethered hovering, rejoicing… Read more »
“Surprised to see me again?” Kim says. I hesitate at the door. Paper wasps had built a nest in the corner of the brick underpass leading to my ground floor apartment in Levittown. Anyone standing at the door stirs them up, so I part my threshold and invite her to follow. Kim slips into the… Read more »
In the night, you say all you can see are the Romany woman’s withered brown fingertips tracing your lifeline, so you distract yourself by telling me about János Marschalkó, the sculptor of the Chain Bridge lions––how the hinges of his fingers cradled the chisel, which day after day he sank into marble, one thick metal… Read more »
On a clear day, lookouts aloft could see farther than those on deck. This had nothing to do with heightened visual acuity. Ascent does not sharpen the eye. Sailing from the sight of land, Jason would have seen the beach disappear before the distant mountain peak. Navigators clever enough to read a compass and devise… Read more »
Lesley Fletcher is at artist living in Quebec, Canada. You can view more of her work here: http://www.lesleyfletcher.com.
The habit started in Maine, the tea drinking, I mean. Massachusetts, where I live mostly, is more of a coffee kind of place – busy lives, kids, jobs. But on a wintry Saturday afternoon in Owls Head, when I’m alone in the house and writing, or supposed to be writing, the act of sitting with… Read more »
Jim Krosschell worked in science publishing for 30 years, starting as a 29-year-old production assistant, avoiding the real world until then by grad school, Peace Corps, travel and TESOL teaching. He has mostly retired now, writing essays and a blog One Man’s Maine http://www.onemansmaine.blogspot.com and dividing his time between Newton, MA and Owls Head, ME…. Read more »
When he needed a new roof, he kept the old shingles piled beside his house. If you rolled one in your hand, it would crumble, the dust lifting into the acceptance of the air. He refused to haul them away, believed ghosts hid their stories there. Some nights, when the moon sends only a sliver… Read more »
I’ve been working hard to get the second issue designed and published. Finally, it’s here. I’ll work on the introduction more, but for now, please turn your attention to the wonderful poets and writers.
Paul David Adkins lives in New York and works as a counselor. He served in the US Army for 21 years.
Gliding my fingers like a wand, I touch, the labyrinths of air grown solid and spilling into black and white. I close my eyes, tilt my chin upward, move my hands legato through the secret veins of memory tracing its score upon the keys. I have forgotten the mistakes, which no longer matter and fall… Read more »
Originally from Ukraine, Askold Skalsky, a professor of English at a community college in Western Maryland, has published in numerous small press magazines and journals, including Notre Dame Review and Southern Poetry Review. He has also published in Canada, England, Ireland, and mainland Europe. He has received two poetry awards from the Maryland State Arts… Read more »
Daniel Romo is an MFA candidate at Queens University of Charlotte, but represents the LBC. His poetry can be found or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, The Los Angeles Review, MiPOesias, > kill author, and elsewhere. His first book of poetry, Romancing Gravity, is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press. More of his writing can be found… Read more »
Samuel Snoek-Brown is a writing teacher and a fiction author, though not always in that order. He also works as the production editor for Jersey Devil Press. His work has appeared in Ampersand Review, Red Dirt, Red Fez, Red Wheelbarrow, and others, and is forthcoming in SOL: English Writing in Mexico. An excerpt from his… Read more »
James Valvis has placed poems or stories in Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Ploughshares, River Styx, The Sun, Tar River Poetry, and many others. His poetry was featured in Verse Daily. His fiction was chosen for Sundress Best of the Net. A former US Army soldier, he lives near Seattle.
Steve Klepetar’s work has appeared in nine countries, in such journals as Antiphon, Boston Literary Magazine, Chiron, Deep Water, Red River Review, Snakeskin, Ygdrasil, and many others. Several of his poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net, including four in 2016. The most recent of his eleven collections include… Read more »
Will Cordeiro has an MFA in poetry from Cornell, where he is currently a Ph.D. candidate studying 18th century British literature. He has been awarded residencies form Risley Residential College, Ora Lerman Trust, Provincetown Community Compact, and the Petrified Forest National Park. His recent work has been published or is forthcoming in journals such as… Read more »
Nancy Flynn grew up on the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania, spent many years on a downtown creek in Ithaca, New York, and now lives near the mighty Columbia in Portland, Oregon. Her writing has received an Oregon Literary Fellowship and the James Jones First Novel Fellowship. Her full-length poetry collection, Every Door Recklessly Ajar… Read more »
Elizabeth Krieg is a poet in West Hollywood, California, where she lives with her husband and their enormous cat, Ronnie. She holds an M.A. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in elimae and Petrichor Machine.
Dr. Ernest Williamson has published poetry and visual art in over 380 print and online journals. His artwork “Censored” was used for the cover of Issue 2. Visit his website: www.yessy.com/budicegenius.
Maria has lived in the ancient seaport town of Aberystwyth for eight years. She finds being surrounded by the sea, mountains and blustery Welsh weather invigorating for her poetry. Maria earned her BA and MA in English and Creative Writing at The University of Aberystwyth where she is currently in the midst of her PhD…. Read more »
My mother, in the hallway photo, would advise me to stir a spot of scotch in honey, blend it with tea to ease her grandson’s cough. I don’t pray to her though the photograph is saintly. Ancient. I am certain she would guide me to the proper cure. The soul of the house is not… Read more »
As she wakes Linka feels the hopeless weight of failure at the discovery of another month’s flow seeping from her body. The flush glazed her thighs and stained the snow-white linen of her nightgown a fierce geranium red. Linka has longed for a child since she was a child. Even her daydreams are filled with… Read more »
I’m not kneeling, wearing white. I tread and pray, stop to say hello; Remember something terrible; curse and pray. In Gap jeans, in bitterness, before I eat and after. I’m speaking to you, about why this happened, why that didn’t. There is no silence. Candles are not practical. I’m not in an Alpine monastery, a… Read more »
Grey birds lift slowly, part to roll as I come close. I cannot rise above my feet, held down by earth’s hard hands; on narrow tracks in shoes not meant for walking far, I walk. I speak of you to God in disjointed silences, teeth-gritting tears. If I could ask for one thing I would… Read more »
You say it’s springtime, Darling but I don’t believe you. The houses on that hill have tired eyes and take labored breaths. Our feet would be cold on their bare floors, our voices too loud for so much dust and peeling paint. You say there is an echo, Darling but I hear nothing. There is… Read more »
Love your city skyline, its tallest buildings, shortest. Make these your holy places, more spiritual than forests, vaster than the choppy blue sea, truer than any church cross. Learn to love how we build beards on the face of the earth, stubble made from rubble. Love also, inside these obelisks, those who wander and speak,… Read more »
Rehoboth, Delaware The beach will fill up with colorful umbrellas soon. Children will play in the surf, letting it tickle their ankles and skimpering away when its froth licks up, coming for them. Older boys will slowly wade out, into the cold drift of deeper waters. The brave among them may splash the timid young… Read more »
One of our best-selling mugs doubles as laceration hazard. Twelve reports worldwide of Rund glass mugs have broken while being used. In five cases, injuries resulted. An investigation revealed variations in glass thickness. Sleek and thin is not always in. Sharp edges are not compatible with soft lips. Blood is thicker than decaf. Customers are… Read more »
The plates are set; the silverware adjusted to its proper place; the napkins crisp inside their rings. Candlelight illuminates the wine, glasses glint below the chandeliers, and mirrors line the walls, behind each empty chair. Just two of us sit, at opposite ends of the long table, awaiting the arrival of our guests. The food… Read more »
Ladybug, ladybug, fly away home. Your house is on fire; Your children all roam. Except little Nan Who sits in her pan Weaving her laces as fast as she can. —Traditional English nursery rhyme, c. 1744 (var.) Give me the hush-hush, those first moments navigating to bed, before I crack the spine of a… Read more »
With hands against my ears I have named you sonic boom, I have named you Doppler and scream and electric guitar. In rage I have named you ghost and pillow and thorn. I have named you with the taste of blood in my mouth, breath rasping, heart pounding wild rhythms in my heaving chest. I… Read more »
You must be trained to read it. You can’t just pick it up, swing back a page and — Go to town! And I was trained. I understood as well as anyone the danger of brandishing the book while every other day wanting to suck-start a 9mm pistol. I recognized the apocalypse he wrote of… Read more »
MaryAnne Kolton’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous literary publications including the Lost Children Charity Anthology, The Toucan Magazine, Lost In Thought Literary Magazine, Anatomy, Her Circle, and Connotation Press among others. Her story “A Perfect Family House” was shortlisted for The 2011 Glass Woman Prize. Author Interviews have appeared most recently in… Read more »
The other night I stopped for orange juice at the Pico station on the north side of Boerne, and I picked up this men’s magazine just to browse it, and then I wound up buying it because of this article about sex dolls so realistic you could dress them up and no one would know… Read more »
October 2002 – September 2003 Small Part Ingestion Hazard – IKEA SNUTTIG toy (700-371-56) Rock-a-Bye-Baby and the head breaks. Arms tear. Seems rip open from fuzzy limbs that bleed plastic beads. Beware: children may love them too much. Ingest them like Swedish candy. But lungs can’t function when foreign objects are inhaled. Breathing won’t work… Read more »
Pablo Peschiera lives in Hickory Corners, MI, and teaches creative writing at Hope College. He translates poems from Spanish, writes poems, and teaches, and has published in Pleiades and Shenadoah, among others. He also enjoys his family very much.
David James’ second book, She Dances Like Mussolini, won the 2010 Next Generation Indie book award for poetry. He’s also published four chapbooks. Dozens of his one-act plays have been produced from New York to California. He teaches writing at Oakland Community College
Alison Swan’s poems and prose have appeared in many publications, including Michigan Quarterly Review, TriQuarterly, Dunes Review, and Willow Springs. Her book, Fresh Water: Women Writing on the Great Lakes, was named a Library of Michigan Notable Book. She teaches in the Environmental Studies Program at Western Michigan University and lives in Saugatuck, Michigan.
Last night our house settled deep into swells burnished by moonlight Our sleep was the sleep of mollusks I’m walking sidewalks imprinted with years, hands, and animal tracks The concrete ages like coral torn from the sea A red day-lily blossom floats in grassy leaves browning toward winter Rose petals fold back into hips One… Read more »
Jennifer Sperry Steinorth is a designer for a small green building firm in northern lower Michigan. Her poems have appeared in The Southeastern Review Online, Mobius: The Journal for Social Change, Damselfly, The Dunes Review, The Bear River Review, and Re: Union. Her first collection, Forking the Swift, was published in 2010. She is a frequent contributor to Foreword Reviews and the vice-chair of Michigan… Read more »
They say don’t sweat the small stuff But of course that begs the question, Of what, to sweat, is big? The oceans and the sky Are big by global standards, Lake Michigan from a rowboat, Your cock, if it’s in my mouth. My orthodontist said I have a small mouth, So definitely don’t sweat it…. Read more »