Mike Lee -The Whenabouts

Mike Lee . The Whenabouts It was still dark when I woke up smelling of her, she being Rose Singletary, lying asleep curled up against my body. Her arms crooked around my neck in a gentle, but firm vise, holding me for dear life, which was understandable because she crossed the line and jumped the precipice by giving up the gift of her body and soul hours before. This scared me, because this meant we could be together like glue for the rest of our lives, or shatter to nothing by Monday. I know she was scared, too, but...

Read More

Tina Barry – Three Poems

Tina Barry – Three Poems   White Legs in Green Water I dreamed of the lake’s soft water, my sister and I small white legs kicking. Our parents on a pale blue blanket, finishing soured sandwiches while their skin fried pink in the sun. We floated, bellies heavenward, tutus of their cigarette smoke, hovering, little portents of doom. We were too young, too dumb to heed. Dumb as apples bobbing. Be careful, they warned of the men who would hold us, arms brittled roads forever in need of patching, hearts worn to mist, who we’d love well and too...

Read More

Bill Vernon – Il Fait Beau

Bill Vernon – Il Fait Beau   There were multi-colored lights strung across the streets, wreathes on the poles, but also geraniums blooming in a box outside the living room window and a bank of lush chrysanthemums blooming yellow over by the park entrance. In other words Angers, France, was pretty and very similar to back home, but it wasn’t home. My wife was helping my daughter care for her three-month-old, and I was banished because of a bug I might give to them or, worse, the baby. Not the kind of gift any of us had in mind....

Read More

Ray Scanlon – Shopping for Grace

Ray Scanlon   Shopping for Grace I scored a moment of grace at Costco, an unexpected temporary unraveling of the ligatures that bind us to place and time, all the sweeter for the incongruity of its venue. Having no expectations is a necessary but not sufficient condition for such a moment’s appearance. If it were sufficient I’d spend more time at big-box stores. Cheryl is responsible for provisioning her office’s open house, so here we are, on a Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks before Christmas, not, one would expect, an ideal time for relaxed shopping. But the store’s...

Read More

Tim Suermondt – Two Poems

Tim Suermondt – Two Poems   The Coming and the Going This morning I see the sun, that’s been AWOL for days, slowly making its reappearance and the rain drops on the windows are already starting to melt. As I gather the instruments for my breakfast, it dawns on me that this type of precision is precisely what medical schools would want from their students—future skilled surgeons, don’t ever forget the heart. The coffee smells like the outskirts of my paradise and I’m ready for the day, or not—coming or going.   The Tram Turns Onto the Last Street...

Read More

James Penha – Red Headed Krait

James Penha   Red-Headed Krait Sako, Western Sumatra its fiery tail propelling the snake like a rocket’s glare streaming already half-way across the road when we stop to admire its rare beauty from a distance: crimson wag and inflamed head warning us to stay still or be stilled forever from neurotoxins ready from fangs —————- that will leap ahead of the long inky blue-black body defending its right of way at a bright red light incomparably wrought We wait. A native New Yorker, James Penha has lived for the past quarter-century in Indonesia. He has been nominated for Pushcart...

Read More

Marybeth Rua-Larsen – Three Short Fictions

Marybeth Rua-Larsen – Three Short Fictions   Gravity …..She was rain. …..She fell thick and fast, pounding the floor like a Greek chorus. …..She tapped and tapped at the window, shattering glass before she pooled together, sang and pushed through to drowning. …..The room only added to her thirst, and being the changeling she was, she shed her weight, masked herself as mist. …..Before she disappeared, she pressed mist into fog, losing herself in loss, hearing, still, the tin drum that silenced itself. …..Then they came for her, lifted her, rolled her down the narrow hallway to birth the...

Read More

Aaron Poochigian – A Memory, Perhaps

Aaron Poochigian   A Memory, Perhaps Light rain; an ultra-modern train lisping through European woods. Beyond the spattered window pane gypsies are camping near the tracks— their clothes as dark as oaks, their hoods burlap. One brings a silent axe down on a birch branch, down again; another cooking at a fire rips feathers from a headless hen; the rest, though, have assembled round a bearded bard, a one-man choir, chanting an epic, without sound. . . mushrooms have sprouted from the log his closest fans are sitting on; a child is crying; a rangy dog is head-down licking...

Read More

Dewitt Clinton – Blessing

Dewitt Clinton   Blessing When I look out into the late afternoon I think how could such things happen. I’ve seen crimson so deep, surely this is what color means. Once I saw a fox. I’ll never forget walking into a black bear, grazing. These are wonders, yes? Sometimes I roll over in the night, hear saxophones, keyboards, marimbas–my way of returning to earth. What shall I do? Love someone, I mean really love someone. Help someone learn how to read, deeply? Couldn’t I just breathe, wouldn’t that be enough? I look into the sky and think maybe I’m...

Read More

John Riley – Three Flash Fictions

John Riley – Three Flash Fictions . .Salzburg One night in rehab I had a dream that I worked as a violin maker in Salzburg. It was the late eighteenth century, although there was no mention of Mozart or any other composer or types of music. There was nothing dream-like about the dream. I had one daughter. A son had died the year before and I could still see his face if I stopped pegging a new hole or trimming the bass bar and closed my eyes. I had spent most of the day of the dream talking with other...

Read More

Stephanie Masson – Fleeting Moments

Stephanie Reese Masson Fleeting Moments Dawn is his magical time. The early morning light touches him, causing him to stir in the crib and utter soft cries as he stretches and finds the day. I hear and pick him up from the crib before anyone rises. I quickly carry him to his grandmother’s bed and we lie, two women on each side of a small child. The pale light hits his skin and, in that instant, it is flawless. It glows radiant, soft white. He rolls slowly at first to look at his grandmother, then me, his aunt, a...

Read More

Janet Bowdan – Three Poems

Janet Bowdan – Three Poems Men in the Abstract men in the abstract are beautiful I like to watch them turn their heads in the train against a window, walk through a platform for a place where they will save the world by their flamboyant grace. there is an attraction to distance, an ease in dabbling rather than dipping in with cupped hands: Pygmalion owed nothing to his block of stone, adoring his chipping, his intimacy with the cracks he’d made. the rest of us have nothing at all to do with remaking the basic design. but I do,...

Read More

Mike Alexander – Tussaud

Mike Alexander Tussaud   The gods no longer walk with us. They know we’d pester them in airports & in bars for autographs, for photographs, to show we’ve brushed against their famous avatars. A party: Southern California hills, an opening, perhaps. Couture afresh drives cameras ecstatic. Champagne spills. Celebrities hobnob as in the flesh… & we stand frozen in our tracks, so near to Frank Sinatra & the whole Rat Pack; this is our chance to talk off Elvis’ ear, kiss Marilyn or take a shot at Jack. We might have met the Queen or Lady Di, crossed wits...

Read More

Beate Sigriddaughter – On The Side Of The Mountain

Beate Sigriddaughter On the Side of the Mountain She sat on the side of the mountain, asters and marigolds dancing their celebration of late summer in soft wind. Dragonflies and grasshoppers with bright red wings lit up the grass. Rain had been plentiful and everything was lush. Next to her in the grass, the prince: his hair dark and splendid, his skin lined with a story of much play in the sun. His head rested on top of his two hands folded underneath his neck. His right leg was bent over the top of his left. He had a...

Read More

Mary Jane White – Three Translations of Tsvetaeva

Mary Jane White – Three Translations of Tsvetaeva   Night’s whispers: over silk Your profligate hand. Night’s whispers: over silk Your planishing mouth. Settling All the jealousies of the day— and the flaring up Of all our ancient history—clenched jaw— And the stifled Quarrel— In this rustling . . . With a leaf At the window . . . With the first bird’s warble. –So fine!—And a sigh. Not that. –You’re gone. I’m gone. With the flinch Of a shoulder. Nothing. In vain. An end. As if not. And into this vanity of vanities This sword: the dawn. 17...

Read More

Susan Tepper – Two Stories

Susan Tepper – Two Stories French Film Around eleven in the morning the sky darkens and rain pelts the roof top pool. I look over the railing at Monte Carlo and the Mediterranean spread out below. Everything that’s normally brilliant with light has turned a gauzy gray. “C’mon,” he says grabbing his flip flops. Along with the others we scatter for cover. Why we do this is anyone’s guess, since we’re all soaked anyway from the pool.    Back in the room he says, “There’s nothing else to do but go to the films. I hate the subtitles. Your...

Read More

Maryann Corbett – Three Poems

Maryann Corbett – Three Poems   Rulebreaking Saint Paul, Minnesota, close to the Mississippi My life is so placid now, the children grown– those most important gadflies against rules– that I slip smoothly into the offered niches of city order, and the comforting rhythms of bus routes regular as villanelles, of street lamps blinking on in unison, of traffic lights that work, of water and sewer dependable below the horizon of thought. So deep my trust in all rule-governed things that when the unruled world intrudes on me I come unmoored. A squirrel in the house reduces me to...

Read More

A note about our launch

A Note About Our Launch “No interesting project can be embarked upon without fear. I shall be scared to death half the time.” – Francis Chichester   Many and many a year ago, I edited a small journal back in California. We had no money, no resources, no way to compete with the established journals. I was typing things – yes, on a literal typewriter – cutting them out, and gluing them to blank pages. We had to have a party to assemble the photocopied pages, fold each copy, and staple things together. And yet, people seemed to like...

Read More