note from editor:

Fairies captured by profressor John Hyatt

“From my experience they were just enjoying themselves and there was a little dance in the sunlight going on" — John Hyatt

 

Some see Mayflies, others see fairies. For me, it's been an infusion of magic. Kind of like this issue. Full of wolves, freaks, ghosts, a crumbling Berlin and cosmic limbos.

 

— Claudia, April 2014

 

Bildungsroman

you ask the wise woman
how it is you will know
what to do with yourself.

she gives you a recipe.

put in your pan cayenne, honey, and a little pig's blood.
leave it to burn


you do. At first, it smells
like itself. Like three things
together. Then just carbon.

You bring it to her to ask
what do I do with this
and her forest is burnt

toothpicks laid in a row
and the ashes of stones.
the wind blows through.

there's something in your eye. you tear
it's still there. you gush and gush nose
and eyes and throat and pores.

you are the wettest thing in this dead
place. the ashes are mud now. your boots
are wet. you cry and snot yourself a bath

the mud was ash and tears
the ash was rock and house
and deer and child and it is all on you

it presses every bit of your skin
you know the place of every bit of your skin
you slough it off. leave it to soak.

you bleed back to your house.
you make yourself a bed of gauze.
lay down with your frypan.
cook the bloody scraps that fell in overnight.
this is your breakfast. this is how
you will start your days from now on.



Alex Ehrhardt is a graduate of the College of Wooster, currently living and writing in the Boston metro area. If you’re ever in town, he’ll probably be reading on an open mic. He has had fiction published in the Goliard and memoir in the first issue of Maps for Teeth. His poetry is previously unpublished.

Hum Of The Spin

Could see soft lights hear the hum of the spin
As the UFO is gently landing
Could not make out details from the cabin
Could see soft lights hear the hum of the spin
From hatch, emerge forms of strange origin 
Other ships land their numbers expanding
Could see soft lights hear the hum of the spin
As the UFO is gently landing

 

 

Denny E. Marshall has had art, poetry, and fiction published. Recent credits include art and poetry in Stinkwaves #2 and Night to Dawn #24. He does have a website with previously published works.

Feed the Lake

for Jake

 

“All that matters is feeding the lake. I don't matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake.”—Jean Rhys

 

You lie on your stomach

your arms folded underneath

your body— a wild gypsy drunk off wine.

 

There are devils in the cards, 
chained and waiting.


The moon inside our chests bleeds

a lake of light and cold dust.

Feed the lake.

 

Temperance— 
masculine and feminine 
are one universe.

All the knowledge that exists, 
exists inside our bodies. 

We search for a key

to the door to make the door

open. 

            Feed the lake,
            make the door open.

 

 

 

Denise Rodriguez received her MFA in Poetry from Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, and her B.A. of Arts from The University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in Room Magazine, A River and Sound Review, VAYAVYA Magazine, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, Kweli Journal, The Pedestal Magazine, and other fine places. She was a participant in the 30/30 Project for Tupelo Press during the month of August in 2013.

Freaks

 

Stare at us: twins, bound by flesh and chance;

a woman with a beard so full, so immaculate

you wish it is yours; a man whose

flesh is remade in ink and iron.

 

Each of us shaped by birth or choice,

until you stand frozen before us like possums

crowding night roads, dreaming yourself unique

among the faceless throng.

 

You think us radically individual, we who survive

by being unlike you. But we are one,

shaped in taunts and whispers, forged

by seizing what you call weakness.

 

You believed us alone, lawless, without recourse,

discarded as rags, bones behind the carnival.

Now, the price. On four legs, or two, or none, we surround you.

So used to leering, yet you overlook us, until

 

we take hold. Come: we will reshape you.

 

 

Israel Wasserstein's poetry and prose have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Flint Hills Review, Coal City Review, and elsewhere. His first poetry collection, This Ecstasy They Call Damnation, was a 2013 Kansas Notable Book.

 

Diagram of Daughter

Moments before the dreams began,

I’d hear the moths clink around in the walls

like bits of glass:

 

I had been there once already to remove

the rats from the crawlspace

and now the rats have wings

and their stories are different—

from scratching to clinking to

sounds dispersing through reeds and falling slow

to stones of onyx and charcoal red

smooth

fresh from the tumbler:

 

how I see it in the thin moment

between wake and sleep.

 

In 1988, my daughter skinned the family cat.

We sent her to a mental ward where

she watches mercury travel darkness—

like lotus through glass, pulling blood along.

 

In a letter once, she wrote:

 

In a glass box there you are on your hands and knees

watching the paint peel back from the walls,

the drawings they hold from a child’s

strangered longhand, all peeling back in flakes

of asbestos and lead based colors.

 

You like it that way, daddy. The toxicity.

 

You look through the bare glass, can hear my steps

light and thin and stretched real long.

They come in increments and slow to disembody—

sounds of fire ants charged with cocaine. 

 

And there I am, a flamenco dancer dancing in fog.

I creep with narrow strides. Fog the glass

with my breath and my finger passes right through.

 

But daddy, you must know, when I get out,

I will siphon you—

 

 

pulling a collapsed silk web from water.

 

 

Jacob Luplow grew up in Seattle, Washington. He is a current student at Cornell College, a writer and photographer, and he is currently working on a collection of poems titled “Like Lotus Through Glass” and a body of art titled “Di-Methyl Tryptamine.” His art has been featured in Subliminal Interiors.

The wolves

talk to the moon because they're lonely,
even together,
but the moon doesn't listen,
and has her back
turned to them,
and her cratered eyes fixed
upon the bowels
of space filling
with radiation
bubbles, and burning
coffins,

and the wolves
keep talking,
and feel a little less
alone,

even though
they aren't.


Joe Nicholas is an experimenter and experiencer who enjoys wine, felines, broccoli, puns, and all things bizarre. He has work published or forthcoming in Willard & Maple, Dead Flowers, Sugared Water, Star*Line, and various haiku journals.

mondays

I will break you,
you have a deer's heart
it
slams between your
            thighs
&
            you have the eyes of a vulture -
you push them along my stomach
concave, I will bury my face -
you're too cold for
the pupupushing
            of your neck into my hip
digging your fingers into m-

 

 

Margaret Mary is in a school studying things, and spends a lot of time reminiscing on hitch hiking and trying to find the meaning of life as described by an anxiety ridden cat - no luck as of yet.

Rocks

 

I’m coming apart like a meteor

entering Earth’s atmosphere

 

My top hat flies off my head

and bursts into flame

but only for a moment

not even a moment

 

The moon is my heart

full and blank

The craters have been erased

 

All these rocks that used to be my shoulders

now they’re just rocks

 

 

M. Krochmalnik Grabois’ poems have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He is a regular contributor to The Prague Revue, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story “Purple Heart” published in The Examined Life in 2012, and for his poem. “Birds,” published in The Blue Hour, 2013. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for 99 cents from Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition.

 

Zebras in Purgatory

There is a wait and you don’t show up. 
Never appear in dreams as promised. 
There is no other side. Nothing
happens, you said, nothing.
 
I think of you when a crow caws, 
a voice that reminded you steadily of Robert Plant.
And I remember your zebras 
because what would be the point in riding a horse through purgatory. 
The zebra looks cooler, you said and all the little girls would be jealous.

 

 

Monica Rico is obsessed with the Saturn V rocket, Japanese knives, and the proper cooking of eggs. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing from CCNY and spends most of her time editing a literary journal, working around the food industry, and reading. 

Tardy postcard

When they demolish your house, 
I want to be there.
When they treat you for death, 
I want to hear that you feel great.
When that guy beans you with a baseball, 
I want to be able to say: Go Get ‘Im, Tiger.
When you forget who you are, 
I want to follow you from the hospital
to the shelter. 
I will be the one 
with the balloon 
that is red and fat 
and no one knows 
is really a satellite
for watching you. 
I want to join you on another
earth that looks just like this one, 
only smaller, and live
in a beautiful house–the size,
the feel, of a warm, kind toaster.



Ricky Garni is a writer and designer living in North Carolina. He is presently completing a collection of tiny poems (I mean, these are teensy!) entitled WHAT’S THAT ABOUT, dutifully banged out on Faye Hunter’s 1971 Smith Corona typewriter in purple cursive typeset, and dedicated with great affection to her memory.

With each handful you dead

With each handful you dead
breathe in, nourished by dirt
by these leaves half stone

half come to a stop –without a breeze
your mouth smells from some quarry
that has no past –you are fed

among flowers and slowly behind
go on eating, adored, immense
seething with mountains

no longer outside, creaking
or far away another bedside
fragrant with lips and whispers.



Simon Perchik is an attorney whose poems have appeared in Partisan Review, The Nation, Poetry, The New Yorker, and elsewhere. His most recent collection is Almost Rain, published by River Otter Press (2013). For more information, including free e-books, his essay titled “Magic, Illusion and Other Realities” please visit his website at www.simonperchik.com.

Berlin, 1944

Crumbling city:
flesh-taut skeletons shuffle silently
past niveous lake,
vain swans now
sullied bones on cracked plates.

Ruinous silence
salts her eyes: beautiful dogs,
gone the way of the swans – 
where are the missing dead?

They reside
in his eyes: his lupine touches
tamed, sullied by war, doubt;
equally devoured, she freezes.

 

 

Steve Isaak, sometimes published as Nikki Isaak and Chuck Lovepoe, is the author of several poetry anthologies. He is the editor of Reading & Writing By Pub Light, www.readingbypublight.blogspot.com.

Elevator down

Step inside.

Look at all the bored stressed-

out blank faces.

Launch into Gregorian chant.

Tell them you've never gotten over 

your fear of heights.

Ask if this elevator might

be hijacked.

Repeat Schnellzugzuschlag 

quickly ten times.

Ask how fast an elevator 
falls
if the cable breaks.

Ask about the center
of the 
earth,

and might the elevator plunge
that far.

Offer to read your own 

personal elevator poems.

Ask if you'll see 

the bones of miners

on the way down.

Another poem of your

own, as many as it takes
to reach your floor.




Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. She’s included in the anthologies Villanelles (Everyman’s Library) and California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University). Her book The Downstairs Dance Floor was awarded the Robert Phillips Poetry Chapbook Prize. Her latest book is What the Wind Says (Lummox Press, 2013), poems about living and working with her canine search partners over the past 40 years.