ISSUE 17 SNEAK PEEK
Hunter's Moon, Gettysburg
by Elizabeth Knapp
I could have believed anything
that night, on that one-lane
country road, the battlefield
alive with shadows, outlines
of worm fences where X
marks the spot, cupolas
of blackened barns, & beyond,
the far slope of Cemetery Hill,
where ghost troops huddled
under the broken moonlight,
& the wind made anguished
sounds with its breath. Yes,
it was still possible for the world
to surprise me, or rather, it was
still possible to surprise myself,
even there, waist-deep
in the trenches, but crawling
my way out, up along the ravaged
hillside, to where, from a distance,
the carnage looked gorgeous.
Issue 17 is sold out, but you can download an electronic version for just $2 from our Purchase page.
You Would Be Forgiven in Thinking That You Can See the Whole of the Moon
by Cindy Veach
Because only 59% of the moon’s surface is visible from Earth
there is still reason to believe in cheese. Indulge me please.
We may see only the nearside, but that nine percent beyond one-half
is hard fought territory existing only in the libration zones
where our lunar buddy gently wobbles in Earth’s sky
playing at peek-a-boo with the naked eye. And while nothing
has gone uncharted, to observe this bonus acreage,
is to see around corners a little way around the east and west
limb and over the north and south and to be able to distinguish
craters foreshortened and edge-on. Yet still, we’re missing
forty-one percent. Math may be my nemesis, but I get this.
We don’t know what we’re missing. More than knick-knacks
and photos deep-sixed in the attic. What about every crater
never noticed, never explored? So many grainy possibilities
forgone. Close your eyes and look hard at the moon tonight.
I was only joking about the cheese. What I meant to say
was there is still reason to believe that at any given moment
for whatever reason there is more than meets the eye.
Title and quotes (in italics) from: https://www.spaceanswers.com/astronomy/how-much-of-the-moons-surface-can-we-see-from-earth/
The Smith's Dinner Party
by Peter Krumbach
Sitting on the window sill, the possum
peers through the glass, its rough smile
bared at the large-buttocked maid
who cooks and does not see it.
What’s in the pot? it asks. The moon
makes its fur almost white. Will you
feed me the way you did last night?
It sits and sucks the dark slowly
into its tiny brain. The kitchen’s light
is yellow. A man walks in and stands
beside the woman. He strokes her breast
and looks at the possum. I have thirteen
nipples, the possum says, but the man
is dumb and tipsy. He just stares
at the possum’s teeth. They remind him
of organ pipes. The woman keeps stirring
the pot with a large wooden spoon, her
other hand on the man’s crotch. His wife sits
in the next room with guests, who bore one
another pleasantly with tales of their lives,
which they don’t consider sad.
The possum doesn’t move, still hoping
to get its apple. It seems it will have to wait
until the dumb man spasms in a little dance.
People, thinks the possum, the weight
of its young warm on its back. It wants to
shout at the two behind the glass, but
its voice is small, smaller than an egg.
On the Times I Don’t Remember the Right Words for Things
by José Angel Araguz
Tonight, leaving work after a double shift,
what is left to say on my walk home,
in and out of conversation with myself,
dims and leaves me surprised: hone o oru,
a phrase I read, I couldn’t say when,
comes back clearly, scratched across a book’s flyleaf
with the words it might translate to in English
(to break your bones, or to have a bone
broken) in pencil scrawled and smudged beside it,
as if whoever tried to work it out stopped,
unable to choose between doing
the breaking and being broken, and left both
phrases for me like answers to a riddle
no one is around to ask, and which
I no longer have the breath to decipher,
unable to read the growing night against
the headlights of oncoming traffic,
each pair of lights indifferent, reading past me—
another breath slips, breaks my conversation,
words again have a falling leaves feel:
the feel of a foot driven into the air
of a missing step, that braced stagger, the feel
of reaching for a door you thought closed
only to find it open, your artless hand
on the air you have to walk through to move on.
by Emma Aylor
I am cracking the egg in my
hand on my chest a thousand ways
today, on the bench I like by
the pansies. What was there
felt all for me, the time of morning
between rush hour and lunch
break, all but the backed-in delivery trucks
gone still and inside. A warm wind started
stirring that felt closer to nature
than to the office buildings, as if
coming up from some creek. I wished
to hear a train whistle for the simple
papered unfolding of longing a person feels
going anyplace good and strange. I am missing
this place early and too easily; where it used
to be I’d hold it all closed I’ve instead
extended this open space in me out.
My First Sonnet on Zoloft®
by Craig Blais
“NORMAL” she writes in quotes like it isn’t measure-
able, then she draws a straight black line across the white board: ______________
“All your life,” she says, “or at least since fifteen years old—
you’ve been down around here, with feelings of displeasure,
panic, social anxiety disorder, depression,
thoughts of suicide, alcohol dependency, and a general
sense of pointlessness. There have been, incidentally,
brief periods of time where you dropped even
lower to what’s called a “MAJOR DEPRESSIVE EPISODE,”
bringing you somewhere more like down here: ____________________________
for the span of several months or up to a year.”
I nod politely. Twice now since I’ve devoted
myself to this, after paying $8 and leaving,
a live oak has broken the sun into a million tiny pieces.
Once You Know a Thing Exists
by Tamara L. Panici
Mama, what if I’m just another version
of you? What if we’re all just fucked up
versions of the original beast?
Because I want to be my own beast, I don’t know
how to make mămăligă like you do.
I don’t know how to not add butter and salt.
Don’t you see? Half of me is Americancă
I’m a piece of corn between two tight teeth.
Here the wanderer only goes in circles
and hands are always dried out from
scrubbing the world’s sinks, turned
hard and tight like ribbons of old dead snakes.
Bring a gift no matter what and always
take your shoes off in the house, says Mama.
The clocks are all wrong again, says the sun
to the moon, If you listen, I’ll tell you when.
You make mămăligă like this: boil water
then add cornmeal. The sun says, Start now you
simple beast. Can’t you see the world is hungry?
If you spend afternoons spinning your fingers
around the knob of an old radio, you might
accidentally tune in to the voice of the
original beast. You’ll wipe your hands clean
of your thoughts a thousand times, you’ll
rub all the aprons into threads trying
to figure out why the voice sounds so familiar.
by Anthony Warnke
I want it all. Accept that.
I want breakfast in bed
and the lights on
later. I need to be
needed, not bothered,
bathed in double
round, good clown
sense. I want hugs
and drugs, a taut
morning in a Jesuit
study. I want kids
that cannot die,
my big break,
I want to go
to heaven broke, so
I’m paying the price
Self-Portrait as Miranda with Xenophilia and Apostasy
by Dayna Patterson
The world begins with yes.
—Terry Tempest Williams
After a short courtship, we wed,
all according to Father’s plan,
then left the island—and Father—behind.
No, that’s not how the story goes.
But it’s how this story goes.
We left him with his angel
-conveyed magic books, his staff
unbroken, his Urim and Thummim
to translate the ancient
urge. We left old
feuds, martyrs who traversed
the waters, who pioneered
their way here. Loathe to leave,
we left, Prospero’s promises broke
like stormclouds pouring
pitch and feathers. Peeling them off,
we left cells—strata of ourselves—behind.
We left, stealthing Ariel and Caliban along,
misfits who burned to serve
no god but their gut, Ariel at the helm steering toward expanse,
Caliban in the crow’s nest aiming at the unnameable.
Brave? The ship tilted full bore toward horizon, the ledge
of a new world.
Levi Andalou’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in BOMB Magazine, Tampa Review, and Pembroke Magazine. The poetry editor of Black Warrior Review, J. Taylor Boyd, has said of his work, “These poems are surprising, and their linguistic turns reinvigorate the prose poem.” He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
José Angel Araguz is a CantoMundo fellow and author of seven chapbooks as well as the collections Everything We Think We Hear (Floricanto Press) and Small Fires (FutureCycle Press). His writing has appeared in Crab Creek Review and Prairie Schooner. He runs The Friday Influence and teaches at Linfield College.
Emma Aylor is the author of the chapbook Twos (Dancing Girl Press, 2014). Her poems have appeared in Handsome, the Adirondack Review, Two Serious Ladies, Vinyl, and elsewhere.
Bryce Berkowitz’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best New Poets 2017, Ninth Letter, Third Coast, Passages North, The Pinch, Hobart, Barrow Street, Permafrost, Eleven Eleven, Tampa Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Laurel Review, among other publications.
Daniel Biegelson is the director of the Visiting Writers Series at Northwest Missouri State University and associate editor for The Laurel Review. His chapbook, Only the Borrowed Light, is forthcoming from VERSE and his poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Hayden’s Ferry Review, FIELD, Meridian, New Orleans Review, Salt Hill Journal, among other places.
Craig Blais’ is the author of About Crows (University of Wisconsin Press). His poems have appeared in Western Humanities Review, Denver Quarterly, The Southern Review, Yale Review, and other places.
Julia Bouwsma lives off-the-grid in the mountains of western Maine, where she is a poet, freelance editor, critic, small-town librarian, and farmer. She is the author of MIDDEN (Fordham University Press, 2018) and Work by Bloodlight (Cider Press Review, 2017). Her poems and book reviews appear in Bellingham Review, Colorado Review, Muzzle, Salamander, RHINO, River Styx, and other journals. She is the recipient of the 2016–17 Poets Out Loud Prize, the 2015 Cider Press Review Book Award, and residencies from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Vermont Studio Center. A former managing editor for Alice James Books, Bouwsma currently serves as book review editor for Connotation Press: An Online Artifact and as library director for Webster Library in Kingfield, ME.
Amy Brunvand is a librarian, writer, and generally bookish person in Salt Lake City, UT. She writes regularly for Catalyst magazine, mostly about environmental and sustainability topics. When Sugar House Review comes in the mail, she reads the reviews first.
B.J. Buckley once roller-skated the interior of the Guggenheim Museum in New York City from top to bottom without getting arrested, accompanied by a friend in an opera cape.
Chad M. Christensen is the managing editor of the WSC Press and the co-director of the Plains Writers Series. He earned his MFA from the University of Nebraska and teaches writing and publishing at Wayne State College. His books of lo-fi poetry are Ground Bound and Shoot from the Hip. He also writes a column for the Wayne Stater called “High on the Plains.” Find him stumbling on FB & Twitter: @chadwykerrr.
An associate professor of English at the University of Arizona, Christopher Cokinos is the author of three books of literary nonfiction, two poetry collections, and an anthology that combines contemporary poetry and prose with a field guide format. He is affiliated faculty with the Institute of the Environment, and the Global Change program. He won a Whiting Award, a Glasgow Prize, and an NSF Antarctic Visiting Artists and Writers Fellowship, among several prizes. His poetry, essays, reviews, and criticism have appeared in such venues as the Los Angeles Times, TYPO, Diagram, Ecotone, Orion, Pacific Standard, The Writer’s Chronicle, Salon, The American Scholar, Science, Extrapolation, and Foundation. Cokinos divides his time between Tucson’s Barrio Libre and Logan Canyon, UT.
Star Coulbrooke, Poet Laureate of Logan City, UT, is coordinator of Helicon West, a bi-monthly open reading series. She sometimes writes poems for readers as they perform their work and she conducts monthly poetry walkabouts from which she composes collaborative community poems using lines from the poems others write from her prompts. Aside from returning others’ lines to them in a new shape, she writes about her own past lives. Her current one is a poem too good to write.
Christopher Crew’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Atlanta Review, Grub Street, The Briar Cliff Review, The Cincinnati Review, and Gettysburg Review. He’s working on teaching his child the difference between a coin slot and a CD player, and his school the difference between “just” and “only.”
Originally from Detroit, Molly Damm rambled around for many years post-college in Montana before receiving an MFA from the University of Virginia. More focused rambling led her back to Montana, where she teaches writing and works toward a masters in counseling at Montana State University in Bozeman. Her poems have appeared in the Colorado Review, Terrain.org, Drunken Boat, Copper Nickel, The Collagist, Western Humanities Review, and other places.
Lauren Davis is a poet living on the Olympic Peninsula. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars, and her work can be found in publications such as Prairie Schooner, Spillway, and Split Lip Press. She works as an editor at The Tishman Review.
Danielle Beazer Dubrasky has published in Terrain.org, Pilgrimage, Saltfront, Cave Wall, and Contrary Magazine. Red Butte Press (University of Utah) published two poems in a limited edition art book Invisible Shores. Her chapbook, Ruin and Light, won the 2014 Anabiosis Press Chapbook Competition. She teaches at Southern Utah University.
Mike Good’s recent reviews and poems have appeared on Ploughshares blog, 32 Poems blog, Forklift, OH, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and The Hollins Critic. He holds an MFA from Hollins University and helps edit the After Happy Hour Review. He is from and lives in Pittsburgh, where he works as a grant writer.
Meghan Harrison is a writer and editor based in Toronto, Canada. She is the author of the chapbook Amateur Hours (Rahila’s Ghost, 2018).
Allison Hraban is a Nebraska native who “likes piña coladas and getting caught in the rain.” With an MFA from Creighton University, she has poems in Third Coast, The Chattahoochee Review, Crab Orchard Review, and Flat Water Stirs: An Anthology of Emerging Nebraska Poets. She lives in Lincoln with her husband and daughter.
Holly Karapetkova’s poetry, prose, and translations from Bulgarian have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Alaska Quarterly Review, Drunken Boat, and many other places. Her second book, Towline, won the Vern Rutsala Poetry Prize and was recently published by Cloudbank Books.
Christopher T. Keaveney teaches Japanese and Asian cultural studies at Linfield College in Oregon and is the author of three books about Sino-Japanese literary relations. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Spoon River Poetry Review, Columbia Review, Minetta Review, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Stolen Island, Wilderness Literary Review, and elsewhere. He is the author of the collection Your Eureka Not Mined (Broadstone Books, 2017).
Elizabeth Knapp is the author of The Spite House (C&R Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 De Novo Poetry Prize. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in 32 Poems, Beloit Poetry Journal, Kenyon Review Online, The Massachusetts Review, and Quarterly West, among others. She teaches at Hood College in Frederick, MD.
Peter Krumbach was born in Brno, Czechoslovakia. His work has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Columbia Poetry Review, RHINO, Salamander Review, and elsewhere. Diane Seuss selected his prose poem “Fugitive” as the Mid-American Review 2017 Fineline Competition winner. He lives in Del Mar, CA.
Rosa Lane is author of Chouteau’s Chalk, winner of the 2017 Georgia Poetry Prize forthcoming February 2019, Tiller North (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2016), and Roots and Reckonings, a chapbook. Lane received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Cutthroat, Folio, Nimrod, Ploughshares, RHINO Poetry, Verse Daily, and elsewhere.
David Lee, retired, spends his life traveling between Mesquite, NV; Seaside, OR; Boulder, UT; and Silver City, NV. The poems included here are from a new manuscript, MINE TAILINGS. He is in advanced training to achieve his goal of becoming a World-Class Piddler.
Kate Lindroos’ poems appear or are forthcoming in jubilat, Sixth Finch, Barrow Street, Permafrost, and Big Big Wednesday.
Jennifer Martelli is the author of The Uncanny Valley, Apostrophe, and After Bird. Her work has appeared in Thrush, [Pank], Glass Poetry Journal, Five-2-One, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal. She is the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant in Poetry, and is a book reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly, as well as a co-curator for The Mom Egg VOX Blog Folio.
Jan C. Minich has two books of poems, Wild Roses (Mayapple Press, 2017) and The Letters of Silver Dollar (City Art Press, 2002), as well as two chapbooks. Jan’s work has been published in several anthologies, including New Poets of the American West, and in the poetry journals Kestrel, High Country News, Montana Review, Weber—The Contemporary West, Ellipsis, Louisville Review, Kansas Quarterly, Clover, Wisconsin Review, Verse Wisconsin, and many others. He has been a wilderness studies director in Utah, and taught writing and literature at Utah State University Eastern. During summers, he cruises Lake Superior in a small boat. Jan lives in Wisconsin and Utah.
Dion O’Reilly has spent much of her life on a farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains. She has worked as a waitress, barista, baker, theater manager, graphic designer, and public school teacher. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Rattle, The Sun, Canary Magazine, Spillway, Bellingham Review, Atlanta Review, Red Wheelbarrow, Porter Gulch Review, and a variety of other literary journals and anthologies, including the Lambda Literary Anthology. Her work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes, the Intro Journals Project, and The Folio Literary Journal Poetry Contest.
Tamara L. Panici’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Prelude, Likely Red, Carbon Culture Review, Riggwelter, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the 2018 River Styx Microfiction Contest and has been chosen to attend the Frost Place Conference on Poetry. You can find her on Twitter @tlpanici.
Writer, editor, and logophile, Dayna Patterson makes her home in the Pacific Northwest. She earned her MFA from Western Washington University, where she served as the managing editor of Bellingham Review. She is the poetry editor for Exponent II Magazine and the founding editor-in-chief of Psaltery & Lyre. Her literary obsessions include poetry and spirituality, and women in Shakespeare. DaynaPatterson.com
Micah Player is a designer, author, and illustrator. He and his wife live in a little house beneath a big tree in the mountains of southern Utah with their two boys, a Yorkshire terrier, and several Casio keyboards.
Jim Richards’ poems have been nominated for Best New Poets, two Pushcart Prizes, and have appeared recently in Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, Southern Poetry Review, South Carolina Review, and Comstock Review. He lives in eastern Idaho’s Snake River valley and has received a fellowship from the Idaho Commission on the Arts. Jim-Richards.com
David Romanda lives in Kawasaki City, Japan. His work has appeared in Gargoyle Magazine and Hawaii Review.
Steven D. Schroeder’s second book, The Royal Nonesuch (Spark Wheel Press), won the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award from Southern Illinois University. His poetry is available or forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Southern Indiana Review. He works as a creative content manager for a financial marketing agency.
Katie Jean Shinkle is the author of three books, most recently Ruination (Spuyten Duyvil, forthcoming). Other prose, poetry, and criticisms can be found in or are forthcoming from Flaunt Magazine, The Georgia Review, Denver Quarterly, New South, The Collagist, Washington Square Review, and elsewhere. She serves as co-poetry editor of DIAGRAM, and is an assistant professor of English at Central State University in Wilberforce, OH.
Karen Skolfield’s book Battle Dress (W.W. Norton) won the Barnard Women Poets Prize and will be published in fall 2019. Her book Frost in the Low Areas (Zone 3 Press) won the 2014 PEN New England Award in poetry, and she is the winner of the 2016 Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in poetry from The Missouri Review. Skolfield is a U.S. Army veteran and teaches writing to engineers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Nancy Takacs is the winner of the Juniper Prize for her book of poems The Worrier (U of Mass. Press, 2017). She was a 2016 runner-up for the Missouri Review Editor’s Prize. Previous poetry publications of two books, including Blue Patina, winner of the 15 Bytes Book Award for Poetry and finalist for the Lascaux Poetry Award; and four chapbooks, the most recent Red Voice (Finishing Line Press). Her work has appeared in New Poets of the American West, Harvard Review, Kestrel, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Nimrod, and Weber—The Contemporary West. She lives with her husband Jan Minich in Wellington, UT.
William Trowbridge’s seventh poetry collection, Vanishing Point, was published by Red Hen Press in April, 2017. His graphic chapbook, Oldguy: Superhero, came out from Red Hen in 2016. A full collection of the Oldguy poems will be published by Red Hen in 2019. He is a faculty mentor in the University of Nebraska Omaha Low-residency MFA in Writing Program and was Poet Laureate of Missouri from 2012 to 2016. For more information, see his website at WiliamTrowbridge.net.
Cindy Veach is the author of Gloved Against Blood (CavanKerry Press, Nov. 2017). Her poetry has appeared in AGNI, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Journal, and elsewhere. She manages fundraising programs for non-profit organizations and lives in Manchester by the Sea, MA.
Donna Vorreyer is the author of Every Love Story is an Apocalypse Story (Sundress Publications, 2016) and A House of Many Windows (Sundress, 2013), as well as eight chapbooks, most recently The Girl (Porkbelly Press).
Anthony Warnke’s previous work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bayou Magazine, Painted Bride Quarterly, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, and The Prose Poem Project. He teaches writing at Green River College and lives in Seattle.
Danielle Weeks received an MFA in poetry through Eastern Washington University’s creative writing program, where she also served as the poetry editor for Willow Springs. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Nashville Review, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill, Tinderbox, among others.
Jeff Whitney is the author of five chapbooks, two of which were co-written with Philip Schaefer. Recent poems can be found in 32 Poems, Adroit, Beloit Poetry Journal, Muzzle, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, and Verse Daily. He lives in Portland, OR.
John Sibley Williams is the editor of two Northwest poetry anthologies and the author of nine collections, including Disinheritance and Controlled Hallucinations. An eleven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, John is the winner of numerous awards, including the Philip Booth Award, American Literary Review Poetry Contest, Nancy D. Hargrove Editors’ Prize, Confrontation Poetry Prize, and Vallum Award for Poetry. He serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review and works as a literary agent. Previous publishing credits include The Yale Review, Midwest Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, The Massachusetts Review, Poet Lore, Saranac Review, Atlanta Review, TriQuarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, Mid-American Review, Poetry Northwest, Third Coast, and various anthologies. He lives in Portland, OR.
Holli Zollinger is a self-taught artist who has made a career of her talents: drawing, painting, and surface design. She is continually inspired by her surroundings living in the desert town of Moab, UT. She is highly motivated by the art of creativity and incorporates the color, texture, and pattern she sees in the world around her. Holli’s work has been published and featured worldwide. HolliZollinger.com