ISSUE 4 SNEAK PEEK

Find on This Page
by Jeff Hardin

Find
on this page
             souls;

find regime;
find without,
refusal, solution;

find more than
             or less than;

find in the throes
of History

             a scene unscripted;

find juge-penitents
weeping in their hands;

find the chief prosecutor
for the republic of beautiful souls
;

find where the souls go;
             find why;

find when ours too
             and anyone listening.

 

The Curse of Elbows in Birthmothers and Other Wayward Girls
by Jen Hawkins

There’s a crook
in my arm
He steals away
           leaves a crook
in my arm

I am always
not      holding

           him

 

The River Absolute
Our Love So Geometric

by Aby Kaupang

the environment is the figure
& the figure is the environment


           sd. DeKooning


it’s an ease of incandescence      of waterform
sd. Weston

the experience—one camera       one lens
one kind of film one format

one developer

                  one man of many
years honing his skills & seeing

the ability
              to recognize
                              to respond
to significant form


to stop and calculate would be to lose most of them

 

The Midwest
by Steve Langan

I remember this old guy at the bar
where I worked gestured toward a girl
seated with friends at a round table
and said, You really need to learn to pause,
study the small of a woman’s back,
the parallel lines subtly curving upward—
are her shoulders little shouts or whispers?—
and her neck, slightly untuned, does it plead?—
to know how best to begin to pursue her.
But I was mainly interested in scoring then,
in showing you how many bottles I could
hold aloft in the dim light, and getting
and staying loaded for days at a time.

It’s rude to talk too much about yourself.
That’s what we learn here in the Midwest.
Days are numbered, we ask you to contribute
to the bottom line, to catch one another
in your sullen reproaches, crashing swoons,
make it look easy these next squalid hours.
Some little nitpickers claim we’re improving.
But we can’t all be angels of mercy or pain,
hunting and gathering, failing and building,
saving nothing for later, sleeping it all off.

 

Hangman
by Alison Pelegrin

Forensics settled on a sneer
for your clay face in the paper asking for a name.

Red clay Choctaw face rebuilt with blue eyes and a snarl,

the gray braid, the speak-no-evil monkey
on your shirt untouched until a four wheeler
and its boy came upon you in spring.

The sheriff’s men soon following
staked out a grid and combed the dirt,

uncovered nothing but footprints of their own
and insect hulls in the dust,

nothing but bones and a noose that held
through two hurricanes, the rain dance of decay.

They make you out to be a loner POW/MIA.
No roots, no son or daughter of the earth,

as if you never took a meal in silence,
never handymanned for room and board,

whittling, singing with the radio on a roll-out bed
where sleep came in jolts, like a fall from a horse.

 

Gabe Puts Dinosaurs in His Powerpoint
by Matthew Sinex

Between car crash statistics
and photographs so vivid
you could taste, beneath our desks,
the gasoline pooling,

a velociraptor,
a tyrannosaurus,
jawing us
like a flawless sonata
amidst a mangled note.

We’re laughing now
at the burn victim
with a stegosaurus at his shoulder,
Ford Explorers beached on guardrails,
and look, one more plesiosaur
before we learn how alcohol
disrupts the prefrontal cortex.

Broken headlights will search
for a culprit, dithered between
piano and violin.
I have to think long about what grade to give him,
this kid who put death in a paper cup.

 

Death Spell
by Shangrila Willy

It is not enough to say,
Dear Stephen Dumouchelle,
I wish you would die.


You have to mean it. Start
to intend with small things,
like blades of grass. Say,

Blade of Grass, I wish
you would die
, and yank
it up by the stem.

Shake the dirt away until
like blanched untidy hair
the naked roots are bare

and quivering. It helps
if you imagine screams.
This is why in old books

the young witch begins
by pulling up a mandrake root
whose cry at midnight

could sound like a man
under the knife, whose forked tail
is just like a man

cloven in two.