ISSUE 4 SNEAK PEEK
Find on This Page
by Jeff Hardin
on this page
find more than
or less than;
find in the throes
a scene unscripted;
weeping in their hands;
find the chief prosecutor
for the republic of beautiful souls;
find where the souls go;
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
The River Absolute
Our Love So Geometric
by Aby Kaupang
the environment is the figure
& the figure is the environment
it’s an ease of incandescence of waterform
the experience—one camera one lens
one kind of film one format
one man of many
years honing his skills & seeing
to significant form
to stop and calculate would be to lose most of them
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.
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,
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.
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.