ISSUE 13 SNEAK PEEK
After the Late and Last Chat
by Ashley Seitz Kramer
The demons stutter and starve, their fires growing into our own
Someone checks the raised seals of our official papers / we are free to go
We fly our silk banners
Our white flags, our waving arms / they were folded once
I wipe my hands on my apron, that eternal act
And stir and stir and stir / the air
The fire is fine
Clarity is smoking out the sides / the fire
Our past / our future, held together barely with wire
Not the nimble, thinnest gauge that people thread through dream-catchers
Not the thickest gauge used for hanging heavy mirrors that show
An empty room (or a human face) its own emptiness
Regular wire, medium gauge
The kind a fisherman buys in a bait shop before buying beer
The kind of wire that holds the heft of a fish and never forgives itself
Those dark eyes, those determined gills
Anyone swimming upriver understands
The depth of the water below us / the dark
Our future might not be our best creation
We promise not to fool ourselves
The fire the fire the fire is fine
by Owen McLeod
You were too far under the truck for me
to reach you, the two of us stranded
in the middle of that dark rural road—
me confused, you quiet as usual, even
on the night I blurted out we were through.
I rolled you your little black flashlight.
I stood, then squatted, back against
the wheel—useless, it seemed. I needed
your forgiveness to fix the whole thing.
It came, somehow, though you didn’t speak—
hands hard at work, torch clenched between teeth,
that light spilling out of your mouth.
by Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo
Yesterday was the fourteenth day of not
calling you. Today will be the fifteenth.
This means you will also not have called me. For you,
it is the third day of not calling. Not because
you have called me (you have not) but because you count
differently. The way dogs age faster in dog years.
Your not calling me is younger. I am younger than you.
This means I have more time. More time to be
not calling you. Today I didn’t have to go to work.
I thought I might call you and tell you. That I am free.
Do you have plans? Your plans do not include
calling me. Tonight I will not call you again, although
I will consider it. By calling I mean email.
I mean texting. I mean driving past your house.
I have driven past your work. I meant to go
the other route, to avoid traffic. Then I turned
left and there I was. I still didn’t call you.
Not from the car either. That’s illegal.
It’s easy when I wake up not to call. It’s worse
around four pm. That used to be the time dusk fell,
back when we used to call each other. The thought
of dusk, at least. The thought of you used to
not be painful. Not like skin on hot metal. Slow
realization of sear. The third day not calling you,
I almost forgot. The seventh I thought: this is
the seventh day. I am resting from not calling you.
I need a vacation from not calling you. When this is over
we will laugh about these things. They will be
jewels, not rocks. I don’t call you because it’s
already over. We agreed. Or something like
agreement. I talk to myself instead of you.
I talk about this. I laugh at myself
instead of with you. The bill shows it.
We never agreed about not calling.
You never said you’d call. I didn’t say
I wouldn’t. But I do. Not call you.
Some Day My Pain Will Sign a Lease
by Justin Evans
I do not want to be the best at any one thing
if it means I have to prove myself over and over
to anyone with the price of admission. That is
what I am willing to admit to you. Do not think
I came to this decision based on a whim, or that
some dark evil is forcing me to conform like
a freshman member of Congress in a budget vote.
I am my own man in this, and there is little else
about which I feel so strongly. My heart can take
so much more than yours, or so I’ve heard from
your parents. They told me everything. I know
why you wear a vacancy sign while you sleep.
by David Adamson
I come back to sit at the kitchen window.
From there, nothing changes.
The curtains whiten in the sunlight.
The fruit trees dream in the still air.
The dog’s bark rings to a rhythm
That beats on the pane and falls away.
The glass bluebird on the windowsill
Projects a tiny swimming pool on the white wall.
The grass grows longer, or shorter, or not at all.
Two young girls try to ride the dog, who’s getting old.
The old woman claps her hands,
Then reaches on tiptoes for an apricot.
His bald spot sunburned, his house slippers muddy,
The old man points to me and laughs.
I tap on the window. They look away.
They know I’m watching.
The sun stays high and warm.
It flashes off the old man’s glasses,
Giving birth to a light that fades,
Or a sentence that trails off.
Perhaps not changing is their way
Of sending for me.
Perhaps this is why I left.
So they would always be here.
The Mating Habits of Humans as Interpreted by
Death Valley Pupfish
by Karen Skolfield
If I stay in the current, I am staying in the current,
I am freshed out of river, I am beside someone’s footprint.
Wriggle-go-lightly where waters coolest,
I am muscled scale and mute. If I choose
a side cove where the water goes slack
I may be looking for you. I may, manner of speaking,
call your name. I brown to your blue. I chase
to your slim finning. I may expect this inching,
suitor my way on by, pretend not to notice.
I may noise loudly, for what I’m worth.
I may lose sight for what little sight I have,
I may despair if you slip pondly, if you choose
another, if the muddiest bank calls. If you let me
press my dorsal to your dorsal, my adipose fin
to your adipose fin, my gills to yours,
if you promise me the want of your streamline
then I will give you fry of my longing,
I will pupfish frenzy, I will lair this one hot canyon
into a fold of our bodies. I will no longer wonder
what is upstream or down, I will true to you
in ways no fish trues, I’ll flare fondly
and icthyologically, I’ll fish out of water,
if you have me I’ll landwalk.
God (damn) Particle
by Jonathan Travelstead
"[This particle is] so central to the state of physics today, so crucial to our
understanding of the structure of matter, yet so elusive, that I have given it a
nickname . . . ”
—Leon Lederman, Nobel laureate
Wait. Say tomorrow we draw the pleated blinds on just the one set
of footprints? Say we really have been walking alone on the sandy shoals
of space for all time passing on our love of story
so each story’s telling thrums harder with a purple rabbit
or state-of-the-art Jesus. Light begetting light until a ventriloquist says
it’s all good. Ecclesiastes and thermodynamics’ second law
insist the narrative and current methods of seeking our lost parents
are long obsolete. Cue ALMA, Chiles’ radio telescope whose name
translates to heart. Cue also the array of gray dishes
in the desert Southwest spread wide, their quadratically-hopeful
mitts booping acknowledgment. I, too, hold hope in one outstretched hand
so some nights it’s less the threads of blood pinking my urine
as it is the moon’s skin draped over shingles and cracked cement
calling me to the back deck where I piss pints of spent fuel between
the spindles. Lower back whinging, I crane my head
towards footprints I swear I see in the moon’s regolith, dust and dirt
astronauts say smells like discharged black powder, or strawberries.
Gritty as mortar. Facts like these fill me so I could almost
shuffle off the precipice of this sealed and permatreated deck
and freefall around a pedestal, or abalone foot of what still refuses to make
itself known to me. Drained to the yard’s slope, better ready
for orbit around any mass greater than mine. But, wait. Let’s return
to the beach once more and search among the quanta of sand grains.
Let me pore over the fine print of atoms the lens in my smartphone
counts plancks between as if Yahweh could ever hide there.
Wait. Tell me, little crab claw, what lightswitch on what ghost circuit
remains that hasn’t been thrown? Where’s Waldo and where’s the cherub
chomping his Cuban cigar? Say this goddamn particle both is
and isn’t the Great Big Empty. Say I Am so I know the canopy or the leaf
giving up its veins at thirty-billion zoom. Say anything
so there’s something I can say I know. Say I didn’t give away
thirty-three years of blinking at that impossible, subzero night. Say what
stone’s still left unturned, where’s left for even the wee gods to hide?
David Adamson grew up in Salt Lake City, UT, and now lives in Silver Spring, MD, with his wife, a cat, and occasionally two sons. He has a PhD in English studies from UCLA. His day job is writing and editing at a nonprofit policy studies firm. He recently resumed writing poetry after decades of keeping quiet. His other hobbies are hiking, reading history and literature, watching baseball, and drifting in and out.
Idris Anderson was born and grew up in Charleston, SC; for the last two decades her home has been the San Francisco Bay Area. Her first collection of poems, Mrs. Ramsay’s Knee, was selected by Harold Bloom for the May Swenson Poetry Award 2008 and published by Utah State University Press. She won a Pushcart Prize (2010), a Pushcart Special Mention (2012), and has published poems in AGNI, Arts & Letters, Crab Orchard Review, The Nation, Ontario Review, The Paris Review, Plume, Southern Review, ZYZZYVA, and other journals. She recently completed a residency at The MacDowell Colony and won the Yeats Society of New York Poetry Prize, 2015.
Carl Auerbach lives in New York City, where he practices psychotherapy. He’s had three poems and a short story nominated for a Pushcart Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Hawaii Pacific Review, Louisville Review, Nimrod International Journal, North American Review, The South Carolina Review, among others.
Philip Belcher has the great pleasure of living on a ridge top in Asheville, NC, where he’s thrilled to see bears in his yard frequently during the summer. He has published poems and critical prose in a wide variety of literary journals and is pleased to serve as an advisory and contributing editor for Shenandoah, the literary journal of Washington & Lee.
William Bonfiglio is an MFA candidate studying creative writing and environment at Iowa State University and a graduate of Bucknell University, where his poem “Remembering The Loons” was awarded the Julia Fonville
Smithson Memorial Prize in 2011. He previously served as poetry editor to Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment.
Heather Bowlan lives in Raleigh, NC, where she completed an MFA in creative writing at NC State in 2014. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Chicago Quarterly Review, Codex, The Nashville Review, Day One, and elsewhere. She’s received an Academy of American Poets University Award and a residency from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She’s the chapbook editor for BOAAT Press and on poetry staff for Raleigh Review.
Robert Campbell’s poems have appeared in Columbia Poetry Review, Ninth Letter, Asheville Poetry Review, and elsewhere. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He holds an MS in library science and is currently an MFA student at Murray State University. He lives in Lexington, KY, where he serves as reference and instruction librarian at Transylvania University and reviews editor for DIALOGIST, an online journal of poetry and art.
Cortney Lamar Charleston lives in Jersey City, NJ. He is a Cave Canem fellow, an alumnus of the University of Pennsylvania’s performance poetry collective, The Excelano Project, and a founder of BLACK PANTONE,
an inclusive digital cataloging of black identity. His poetry has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Beloit Poetry Journal, Crab Orchard Review, CURA: A Literary Magazine of Art & Action, Eleven Eleven, Folio, Juked, Kweli Journal, The Normal School, Rattle, Winter Tangerine Review, and elsewhere.
Wyn Cooper is the author of four books of poems, most recently Chaos is the New Calm. His poems have appeared in Poetry, Slate, The Southern Review, AGNI, and in 25 anthologies of contemporary poetry. His poems have been turned into songs by Sheryl Crow, David Broza, Madison Smartt Bell, among others. He has taught at Bennington and Marlboro colleges, and at The Frost Place. He lives in Boston and Vermont, and works as a freelance editor of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. WynCooper.com
Darren C. Demaree’s poems have appeared or are scheduled to appear in numerous magazines/journals, including the South Dakota Review, Meridian, The Louisville Review, Grist, and Colorado Review. He is the author of As We Refer To Our Bodies (8th House, 2013), Temporary Champions (Main Street Rag Press, 2014), The Pony Governor (After the Pause Press, 2015), and Not For Art Nor Prayer (8th House, 2015). He is the managing editor of the Best of the Net Anthology and lives in Columbus, OH with his wife and children.
Born and raised in Utah, Justin Evans spent time in the U.S. Army before attending college, graduating from Southern Utah University in history and English education. He earned his master’s degree through the University of Nevada, Reno. He now lives in rural Nevada with his wife and sons, where he teaches at a local high school. His latest book, All the Brilliant Ideas I’ve Ever Had, is forthcoming from Foothills Publishing.
Kate Gaskin’s poems and other writings have been published or are forthcoming in Tar River Poetry, Cherry Tree, Turtle Island Quarterly, The Southeast Review Online, among others. She grew up in Alabama and now lives in the panhandle of Florida with her husband and toddler.
Ben Gunsberg is an assistant professor of English at Utah State University. His poetry appears in CutBank, The Southeast Review, The South Carolina Review, among other magazines. He is the author of the chapbook Rhapsodies with Portraits (Finishing Line Press, 2015). His poetry manuscript, Cut Time, won the University of Michigan’s Hopwood Award for Poetry Writing. He lives in Logan, UT, at the foot of the Bear River Mountains.
Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo is super interested in overlaps between the sacred and the profane. In a recently former iteration she taught high school students about social justice and religion and facilitated their conversations about ethics and culture. She is currently off mooching friends who are International School teachers in Thailand and India. They seem to put up with her writing habit if she washes the dishes. ElizabethHarlanFerlo.com.
Tom Holmes is the editor of Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose and in July of 2014, he also co-founded RomComPom: A Journal of Romantic Comedy Poetry. He is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award was released in October 2014. His writings about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, TheLineBreak.WordPress.com
Allison Huang is from the quieter, more rural corner of Princeton, NJ. She likes her poetry tangy with a lot of sweet. She leaves her window open when it rains, and takes the consequences—a mildewing wood pane—with
Zebulon Huset is a writer, teacher and blogger who lives in San Diego’s East County. His poems have recently appeared in The Southern Review, Portland Review, The North American Review, Harpur Palate, The Roanoke
Review, The Cortland Review, among others. Visit his blog NotebookingDaily for new writing exercises everyday.
Lexi Jocelyn is a young writer and educator-in-training. She earned a BA in English from Southern Utah University, with an emphasis in creative writing. She likes to see, hear, and feel things. Her hope is to turn the world into words.
Genevieve Kaplan’s poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in or are forthcoming from The Los Angeles Review, Zyzzyva, small po[r]tions, and Post45 Contemporaries; she is the author of In the Ice House (Red Hen Press, 2011), winner of the A Room of Her Own Foundation’s poetry publication prize, and Settings for These Scenes (Convulsive Editions, 2013), a chapbook of continual erasures. Genevieve lives in Southern California, where she edits the Toad Press International chapbook series, publishing contemporary translations of poetry and prose.
Andrew Koch has been to fifty American states, but currently lives in Texas. He is a PhD candidate at the University of North Texas and holds an MFA from Eastern Washington University. He enjoys serving as managing editor for the online journal Stirring: A Literary Collection and reading maps.
Kathleen Kraft’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in many journals, including Five Points, Gargoyle, and The Madison Review. Her chapbook, Fairview Road, was published in February 2015 by Finishing Line
Press. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times. She lives in Jersey City, NJ, where she teaches yoga, movement, and writing—flows between them as it were.
Ashley Seitz Kramer has won the Ruth Stone Prize, the Schiff Prize, the Utah Writers’ Contest, and most recently, the 2014 Zone 3 Press First Book Award in poetry. She earned her MA from Ohio University and her
MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she taught college writing in Ohio for a decade. She now lives in Salt Lake City, where she is an assistant dean at Westminster College and a doctoral student in education, culture and society at the University of Utah. Her first book, Museum of Distance, was released by Zone 3 Press in the fall of 2015.
Brian Laidlaw is a poet-troubadour from Northern California. He has released the poetry collections Amoratorium (Paper Darts Press) and The Stuntman (Milkweed Editions), each of which includes a companion album of original music; another full-length poetry collection called The Mirrormaker is also forthcoming from Milkweed. Brian continues to tour nationally and internationally as a folksinger, and will be joining the creative writing PhD program at the University of Denver in Fall 2016.
David Lee, retired, splits his time between Seaside, OR; Mesquite, NV; and Boulder, UT, where he scribbles and wanders available trails and byways, all at about the same rate and pace. He is currently in intense training to achieve his goal of becoming a World Class Piddler. His new book, Bluebonnets, Firewheels, and Brown Eyed Susans, will be out in early 2017 from Wings Press, and he will be teaching poetry in the MFA program at the University of Nevada/Reno this fall.
Sandra Marchetti’s is the author of Confluence, a full-length collection of poetry from Sundress Publications (2015). She is also the author of four chapbooks of poetry and lyric essays, including Sight Lines (Speaking
of Marvels Press, 2016), Heart Radicals (ELJ Publications, 2016), A Detail in the Landscape (Eating Dog Press, 2014), and The Canopy (MWC Press, 2012). Sandra’s poetry appears widely in Subtropics, Ecotone, Green Mountains Review, Word Riot, Blackbird, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. Her essays can be found at The Rumpus, Words Without Borders, Mid-American Review, Whiskey Island, and other venues. Currently, she is a lecturer in interdisciplinary studies at Aurora University outside of her hometown of Chicago.
Meredith McDonough lives in St. Louis, MO, where she takes care of a little girl who prefers to wear just one shoe. She teaches, makes glutton free deserts, and her poems have appeared in Linebreak, RHINO, Juked, and
elsewhere. One day she will master Olivia Newton-John’s dance to “Physical.”
Owen McLeod’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, BOAAT, Willow Springs, the minnesota review, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. By day, Owen is a philosophy professor at
Lafayette College; by night, a studio potter. In the fleeting intervals between, he struggles to be a poet.
David Moolten is a physician specializing in transfusion medicine, and he lives, writes, and practices in Philadelphia. His verse has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Georgia Review, North American Review,
and Water~Stone. His most recent book, Primitive Mood, won the T.S. Eliot Prize from Truman State University Press and was published in 2009.
Travis Mossotti was awarded the 2011 May Swenson Poetry Award for his first collection of poems About the Dead (USU Press, 2011), and his second collection Field Study won the 2013 Melissa Lanitis Gregory Poetry
Prize (Bona Fide Books, 2014). Mossotti has also published two chapbooks, and recent poems of his have appeared in issues of the Antioch Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Southern Review, and elsewhere.
Amy O’Reilly lives in Omaha, NE where she is a student in the MFA program at Creighton University and an instructor in the university’s English department. When she is not writing poetry or grading papers, she enjoys
teaching her cats to meow on command and cooking with her amateur-standup-comedian husband.
Kate Peterson earned an MFA from Eastern Washington University in Spokane, where she lives and works as an adjunct professor. Her poetry, nonfiction, and interviews have been published and are forthcoming in many
journals such as The Sierra Nevada Review, Glassworks, Willow Springs, The Examined Life Journal, Baldhip, among others.
Nate Pritts is the director and founding editor of H_NGM_N (2001), an independent publishing house that started as a mimeograph ‘zine, and the author of seven books of poetry, most recently Right Now More Than Ever (2013) and the forthcoming Post Human. Nate lives in the Finger Lakes of New York; find him in the digital world at NatePritts.com
Jason W. Selby’s poetry has appeared widely, most recently in North American Review; Boston Review; and War, Literature & the Arts. He was also a finalist in the 2014 River Styx International Poetry Contest. He is editor
of his hometown newspaper, the Times-republican, and lives in very rural southern Iowa with fellow writer Jennifer Pruiett-Selby and their three young children.
Karen Skolfield’s book, Frost in the Low Areas (Zone 3 Press), won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry. She received the 2015 Robert Winner Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. New poems
appear in Baltimore Review, Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Indiana Review, Forklift, Ohio, and others. Skolfield is an Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Sarah J. Sloat lives in Frankfurt, Germany, a stone’s throw from Schopenhauer’s grave. Her poems and prose have appeared in Passages North, Whiskey Island, and Beloit Poetry Journal. Sarah’s chapbook of poems on
typefaces and texts, Inksuite, is available from Dancing Girl Press, which also published Heiress to a Small Ruin in 2015.
Derek Sugamosto is a writer/editor from a small town in the Metro Detroit area of Michigan. His work has been published in Greatest Lakes Review, Orange Coast Review, Dogwood, Sheepshead Review, Tulane Review,
Nancy Takacs is the 2016 winner of the Juniper Prize for poetry, her collection The Worrier will be published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2017. She has two other books of poems, including Blue Patina recently published by Blue Begonia Press; and four chapbooks, one of which, Red Voice, will be out shortly from Finishing Line Press. Her poems have recently been published in the Harvard Review, terrain.org, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Kestrel.
J.R. Toriseva’s work has also appeared in or is forthcoming from The Cincinnati Review, Descant, Fulcrum, The Fiddlehead, CV2, Prism International, 14 Hills, Nimrod, The Adirondack Review, Grey Sparrow Journal,
Soundings East, JACKET, and Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sound (City Lights Books, 2009), among others. J.R.’s been awarded a waiter scholarship to Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Mary Merritt Henry Prize in Poetry, and currently serves as an assistant professor of English at SUNY-GCC.
Jonathan Travelstead served in the Air Force National Guard for six years as a firefighter and currently works as a full-time firefighter for the city of Murphysboro. Having finished his MFA at Southern Illinois University
of Carbondale, he now works on an old dirt-bike he hopes will one day get him to the salt flats of Bolivia. He has published work in The Iowa Review, on Poetry Daily, and forthcoming in The Crab Orchard Review, among others. His first collection How We Bury Our Dead from Cobalt/Thumbnail Press was released in March, 2015.
William Trowbridge’s graphic chapbook, Oldguy: Superhero, was published by Red Hen Press in March. A new full collection is forthcoming from Red Hen in 2017. His other collections are Put This On, Please: New and
Selected Poems, Ship of Fool, The Complete Book of Kong, Flickers, O Paradise, and Enter Dark Stranger. He teaches in the University of Nebraska lowresidency MFA in writing program and is currently Poet Laureate of Missouri.
John Sibley Williams is the editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies and the author of nine collections, including Controlled Hallucinations (2013) and Disinheritance (2016). A five-time Pushcart nominee and winner of the American Literary Review Poetry Contest and Vallum Award for Poetry, John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include: The Midwest Quarterly, Third Coast, Baltimore Review, Nimrod International Journal, Inkwell, Cider Press Review, Bryant
Literary Review, RHINO, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, OR.