december figurines

Editor back-issues, poetry

so arctic inside, they stand Matryoshka dolls listening for tiny words echoes of hope in each other’s eyes but then the breeze comes blowing red into their noses forming creases around their eyes it feels so cold here because they can’t feel each other’s thoughts anymore. by Andy Kubai   Andy Kubai is a writer and dreamer living in Austin, Texas. …

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William L. Alton

Editor back-issues, poetry

An Old Man’s Day Now is not the time for love. She’s only been gone a year. I wear black to mark her death. I visit her grave every week. I cannot bring a woman into this. She brings me coffee at the café and offers me breakfast, though I never eat. I drink my coffee and read the paper, …

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Purgatory

Editor back-issues, poetry

The storm brought the ocean into our home. Even after the worst of the blowing was over, mother’s body couldn’t survive in the cold and the wet for long. I could only wrap her in a quilt, put her to bed, and wait. The rainfall had become gentle, and the thunder sounded like a back cracking as I stood over …

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Cove/Silence

Editor back-issues, poetry

Cove Where the Black rock Is soaked In silver spray, Moonlit   My guttural baritones Are Bowed strings of longing   Come in to my cove, My black wings Encircling   I cannot Promise A halo   But you and I, we Could circle the fire   Let the howl Of the wild Rip the skin From the waters   …

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John Abbott

Editor back-issues, poetry

A Borrowed View In a borrowed room the hitchhikers share a diminished view of the city at dawn: the sunrise fractured by clouds and the Waffle House sign and of course the interstate. With blurry eyes they can’t fully see or remember which direction they came from or where they want to go.   Almost before this experience is over …

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Laura Baker

Editor back-issues, poetry

Wine Tasting Breathe, but don’t inhale. Taste and swish, but don’t swallow. The experience lasts a moment, then discarded into a silver bucket. So dignified, so proper, delicate ladies with perfect hair spitting blood red mouthfuls.   Falling in Love Outside a Ryan Adams Concert Into a swirl of smoke and music, awkward chatter fades away.   Cigarette smoke mingles …

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Dustin Junkert

Editor back-issues, poetry

Strange Trials If you must drown or burn, please burn. At some point, you must choose a scent (ascent, descent) and go with it.   I’ve never seen why we shouldn’t put our bodies through strange trials for no reason other than that freedom is knowing perfectly and exactly all the walls of your cell.   Everything survives flames. Imagine …

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Car Bombs

Editor back-issues, fiction

We drink until we become different people.  Fuck each other stupid to see who gets the most injuries.  There’s a tally chart on our bedroom wall.  There’s a 911 dialed on a cell phone.  There’s a dispatcher somewhere waiting to hear one of us say, “I don’t know how it happened.”  Last night I went to the hospital.  Two broken …

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Lie: We love you no matter what you do

Editor back-issues, poetry

If you murder, if you need help, if you get sick, my parents say          but what not insane? why not gay, why not lesbian- why not college drop out, religious drop out- out of morals out of luck—sorry, blessings — what we do, what we choose, merits love, merits obligation- but what you are is Christian, is nice, is ambitious …

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Memorial Lake

Editor back-issues, poetry

Thousands of leaves scatter toward us, New Year’s confetti. Icicles—test tubes, bruised apples—a baby’s beating heart. A needle pokes in and out in and out sewing your name.   This is the season in between seasons.   Our paddles cut through water, reminds me of my mother’s porridge thick, lumpy, never the same consistency. Your fishing line jerks, the fish …

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Trevor Nelson

Editor back-issues, poetry

The Friction of Leaves I imagine my aunt cradled the wedge of wood like an unborn infant, her palms weighing the potential. Her fingers, slivered by Braille, skimmed the timber’s lineage before rewriting it in a pile of shavings spun into Fibonacci spirals:   a face born from a branch. Twenty years later, the dust twisting from my truck’s tires …

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Refracted Sonnets

Editor back-issues, poetry

Husband The better part of an acre of mortgaged lawn demarcated by circular driveway, gravel paths, boardwalk to pool deck, islands of rhododendron, aspidistra, pear and cherry.   Four hours of mowing, on a good day. Something he has insisted upon doing himself. Not a bad workout in the magnificent heat.   But his mind, insufficiently engaged, tends to wander …

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