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! Issue 1 * September 2012

Issue 1 * 2012

! Yes is a chance that you take. Yes is a positive word that lays a cruel path. When we say it we step into the unknown. There are more possibilities with a Yes, and more work. When we say Yes we open ourselves to long drives around the lake at midnight with half a tank of gas and bummed cigarettes, to the possibility of heartbreak in public on 14th street, to getting our noses broken at the dive bar with the sticky floor, to a new life that is never what you expected it to be, for better or for worse. The people whose lives have changed mine have always been those marked by the mystical powers of Yes. They live with hope and courage in a world that seeks to rob us of those virtues. The declaration of Yes carries an oath to change our way of being. It promises to alter us with the heat of our own fire. The writings on these pages are the work of those who took a chance. I asked people to send me their delicate wild ones. Pieces that refused to ignore pain or darkness, but greeted it like an old friend, and still said Yes in the morning. I hope you enjoy the work that follows.

.yes

christa pagliei curator of The Yes Factory 2012 !

! Table Of Contents

Issue 1 * 2012

Anomalies Howie Good………………………………………………………………..…………1 A Hundred and Four for Thursday Ryan Headley…..….…………….………………..………2 First of All John Grey…………………………………………...………………………………..…3 The Night of Her First Tattoo John Grey……………………...………………………………...4 Appetite Caylin Capra-Thomas………………………………………………………………....6 The Burbs Kayti Doolittle………………………………………….….…………………………..7 Carpenter Ants Sara Moore………………………………………..………………………..…18 I am heartless Sara Moore……………………………………………..…………………........19 Fresh Mowed Field Michael Brownstein…………………………….…………………........20 The Untimely Death of a Solitary Salmon Alanna Wray……………………………….......21 Ischemia Means Alanna Wray……………………………………………………………….…23 Winter Kites Caylin Capra-Thomas…………………………………………………………….25 Morse Can & Sub Rosa Ryan Headley………………………………………...……..………..27 High Brows & Jungle Foot Ryan Headley………………………………………………..…….28 The Rug of Snow on the Roof Sloughs Off William Doreski………………...………........29 My Thunderbolt Son Andrew Norman………………………………………….……………...31 Charming Chinese Sisters Julie Gesin……………………………………………..…………32 Salt Matthew Gasda………………………………………………………………………….…..38 Your Footprint Among Many Daniel Maroti………….………………………………………39 Fruit Suzanne Lunden……………………………………………………………………………..40 Seeds Suzanne Lunden………………………………….……………………………………….42 Table For One Suzanne Lunden…………………………….………………………………….43 Norse Mythology Suzanne Lunden…………………………………….………………………44 As If The Rain PD Lyons………………………………………………..………………………..45 Where I’ve Lost Andrew Norman………………….…………………………………………...46 !

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Duane Doesn’t Visit His Old Man John Grey………………………………………………..48 Ring For A Girl Thomas Fricilone…………..…………………….……………………………50 Dirty Bar Mouth Mariano Henestrosa…………………………………………………………52 The Things You’d Least Expect Speak Jana Pollack……………………….………………53 His Tattoo Kenneth P Gurney……………………………………………….…………………..54 Mizzou Nick Brennan………………………………………………………….……….………….55 Only This One Marissa Anderson………………………………………………………………56 What Sara Moore………………………………………………………………………………...57 More Poetry. Less Everything Else. Caylin Capra-Thomas……………………….………..58

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! ! Anomalies
by Howie Good

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1 A baby fell asleep in my arms ! and woke up years later in exile. The physics of how are unclear. 2 Sounds of struggle float up from the street. I look around. Nobody else seems to be listening. Things are going neither better nor worse. 3 An angel with black wings flew in our window. She asks if I remember. I say I do. I don’t.

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A Hundred and Four For Thursday
by Ryan Headley

In such nations we will invent the hero's story from hawk tendons: He remembers every blister and coined the phrase June on June Once saying to me Drop me off anywhere and I'll be home With crowded teeth that sharpened each other He answered his own question by betting against the sun Are you in like I am? !

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! First Of All
by John Grey

Issue 1 * 2012

First girlfriend, first death, the one compliant up to a point, her body held back but face up front, eyes closed, lips pursed. No, that was the corpse, painted for the occasion, blue lips reddened, hands folded on chest, beads and cross threaded through fingers. Down by the river it happened. Or was it in that dour funeral home, windows heavily draped, mourners likewise.

That day, that night, they flash before me, bearers of old news, good and bad. No moment is safe. Nothing in my head is secure. Firsts capitalize on the ordinary, the mediocre. Kiss my wife goodbye in the morning. Where's the tension, the release in that? Line up dutifully at the funeral of another ancient aunt Kneel before the coffin, press sympathies into the hands of relatives, and then move on.

First girlfriend, puppy love. First death, barely knew the corpse. But first of all, no girl was any different from another. First of all, everyone lived. Then we kissed. Then she died Love and death... only the first time is clear on the subject.

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! ! The Night of Her First Tattoo
by John Grey

Issue 1 * 2012

It's an eerie silence, the silence of breasts being tattooed, insomniacs watching space showers. It’s that hotel kind of silence where the bed feels quiet and the walls are dumb as the ladies painted on their paper. No creak to the mattress, just the sinking, an instant holding itself in so life can use the bathroom. But the bathroom's soundless too. That's what happens when you reach a place by elevator not by stairs, when you go up and up and you don't feel like you're moving. 25th floor and I can see the neon life below but thick windows push the mute button. I can't even hear the shriek of pain when the needle pricks the soft white flesh. It's a toothless silence, unearned, undeserved, even if I wanted it. It's a 200 bucks a night silence. It's a silent key to my room that's nothing more than credit-card like plastic. ! ! "#$%&!'('$!&)*$!#+,!*)-&.!/'&0+! ! 4!

! ! Don't even turn old rusty metal to pass through these doors. I slide it in, await a green light that doesn't even know me. Can't even hear the stain of crimson ink. Even if I said the name... "Michelle"... I wouldn't hear my own voice. The apples in the bedside tray sound-proof. Likewise, all six pillows, one for each of my earless heads. I'm cocooned. She's in the tattoo parlor awaiting first butterfly. Can't sleep. Maybe I'll watch the meteors at noiseless play.

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! Appetite
by Caylin Capra-Thomas

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You know what this is? This is hunger. This is a dark spot on the brain. Black hole in your skirt, a thumb stroking the silk of your stocking, two hands over your eyes & the only voice you want to hear whispering, Guess who? !

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! The Burbs
by Kayti Doolittle

Issue 1 * 2012

I opted for the CVS convenience store I didn't normally go to. It was about 15 minutes from my parents' house, next to a Wal-Mart that only sold books printed in Spanish. Shamelessly urgent, I marched towards the entrance. Old coupons and scrap tape clung to the doors. They cracked open, a rush of cold air blasted down my back drying my damp shirt. Every CVS had a different layout, but the smells were always the same: wafting powder, shampoo, and candy captured in the rectangular space. My eyes quickly found the big blue sign dangling from the ceiling-- Pharmacy. A fresh wave of guilt rolled in my stomach as I passed the Fourth of July decorations on my way to the white coats and shelves of pills. In front of the counter, a line of frail fossil people waited for labeled goody bags of drugs. One woman smiled at me, her lips a ruby red like my grandmother’s. Her hair was two-toned; the left side was brilliant silver, the right side a heavy black. I tried not to stare. Maybe some days she wanted to remember what she used to look like. “Can I help you?" a man spoke. Young, dirty-blonde, he stood in a white coat, waiting. I crept up to the register. "Um yes," my voice quieted, "I need a day after pill,” I said. He tilted his head, "You know, Plan B." I wondered if the fossils heard me. “Oh yes, Plan B. Can I see your license, please.” His fingers moved quickly over the computer keyboard. I fumbled through my purse to find my silver glitter wallet. The man took the id and studied it. “Wow, twenty-one? You look sixteen." I laughed nervously. ! "You may not think that to be a good thing now, but it is. Trust me." He moved my I.D. in his hand. “Oh you live by here too. That’s cool.” 7!

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"You may not think that to be a good thing now, but it is. Trust me." He moved my I.D. in his hand. “Oh you live by here too. That’s cool.” I fidgeted. It had been five days. I needed to take that pill. “Yup.” He smiled at me. Judgment free. “Okay, I’ll be right back.” He walked into what looked like a filing cabinet for pills and pulled out a cute pink box. How could something so deadly be packaged so pretty? “I like how you spell your name. I’ve never seen it like that.” “Yeah, it’s different.” “That’ll be $35.81. He said. His careful hands placed the printed receipt in the plastic bag next to the pills. “Oh don’t forget your I.D.” He slid it over. “ I live around here too, if you ever want to go get drink or dinner.” His hands, surprisingly rough, were still on my driver’s license. “I have a boyfriend." I pointed towards the bag with the box of pills. “Fair enough. If you change your mind, you know where to find me.” He smiled. His teeth were perfect. Probably flossed twice a day. “Useful." Furious, I pivoted, wanting to run towards the door. The vibrant fossil smiled, her teeth now covered in brick red lipstick. She poked me with her cane. "Honey, men are like tires: if one pops, you gotta have a spare." … “Don’t put your drink on the mahogany,” Clinton snapped as he walked back into state room number three. “And change that song.” His long legs brought

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him out of the bedroom, across the small kitchen, and out of the living quarters of the boat.

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him out of the bedroom, across the small kitchen, and out of the living quarters of the boat. “Sure thing,” my voice cracked over the tune of Float On by Modest Mouse. I lifted my drink, wiping the thin water ring from the cherry brown wood. Standing in front of the CD player and sound system, I squinted, feeling my face tighten up. My skin was burnt pink from being docked for five hours in the screaming sun. My mouth was dry and tasted like salt and lake water. I had been sure to eat a meal before taking the Plan B pill. But my stomach still rolled in protest. I bit my lip in concentration, as I tried to decipher which button to press on Clinton’s CD player. This is my last beer, I thought… Clinton had been drinking all day. I couldn’t imagine him as a functional driver. If I stopped drinking maybe I could be. Then again, if I couldn’t even figure out the CD player, how would I drive a 70-foot yacht? The yacht was truly a floating home. It was the kind of home that most people never had the chance to live in on land let alone on water. It had three bedrooms, or statesrooms as Clinton always corrected me. There was a fully functioning kitchen, dining table and sound system. And of course air conditioning. Outside of the cabin, there was a large space with seating and a table. I spent most of my time there. From there was a large swim dock. If you wanted more privacy you could move to the bow of the boat and lay out. Clinton didn’t like when I was up there when the boat was moving though. “Babe, really? We need some jams out here.” The sliding glass door opened into the yacht’s cabin. He puckered his lips like girls do in Facebook pictures, closing his eyes, pumping his fist in the air. His skin was burnt too, a red brown color. A white ! MU visor shaded his youthful brown eyes. “I’m trying.” Satisfied with trial and error I began pressing multiple buttons. I 9!

! MU visor shaded his youthful brown eyes.

Issue 1 * 2012

“I’m trying.” Satisfied with trial and error I began pressing multiple buttons. I hated that visor and I hated his dancing. If we had a baby boy would it dance like that? The song changed to Bananas by Gwen Stefani. I heard happy screams from the people on the sun-roof, aft, and swim platform. I never understood the joy people found in repetitive pop songs. I had always imagined that the more evolved we became as people the more evolved our music choices would become. “You are letting all the air conditioning out.” I curled my toes under feeling the hardwood floor squish my skin. “Well, come on, get your fine ass out here.” His big hands mimed the shape of a curvy body, one that was not mine. “Soon,” I pointed towards the package of pretzels and crackers on the table. I still had to take the second pill in a few hours. I imagined they couldn’t be effective if I puked them up. My heart moved fast and heavy. I loved Clinton the way I imagine bike riders loved helmets- He kept the wind from blowing through my hair, but he was safe, necessary. If Clinton knew I had taken one of those pills he would be devastated. He wanted a baby. "Let's just see what happens..." He’d said one night. Clinton was years from fake id’s and college graduations. His youthful version of thirty-six existed somewhere between a man too old to party and a soon to be dad. I had always thought I was an old twenty-one. However, I’d lost my purse the previous weekend when I was too drunk. “Mommy” shouldn’t have been allowed within my spectrum. This whole pregnancy thing seemed really sci-fi, alien. ! He closed the door, blowing air kisses my way. I wanted to stomp those fake kisses in the ground. Instead I let my body fall back into the leather built in 10!

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He closed the door, blowing air kisses my way. I wanted to stomp those fake kisses in the ground. Instead I let my body fall back into the leather built in couch of the cabin. … Our boat was tied up next to the only other boat bigger than ours: Aggie Bush’s yacht, the Budweiser Boat. With dreams of boarding Aggie’s boat, everyone was on their best behavior each person committed to drinking Bud. I thought Bud Light tasted flat; it gave me a headache and reminded me of people from St. Louis. I grabbed a Miller Lite from Clinton’s cooler, pushing the cold beer deep into a Bud Light koozie. I had forgotten how bright and sunny it was as I made my way out of the cabin. The heat from the August sun made my skin sting. I sat next to Diana, putting my feet up on the additional cooler, wrapping my free hand around my flat belly. My sweaty legs stuck to the leather seat. Diana was the only one on the boat dressed her age. She was twenty-nine, and appeared to be very maintained. A woman that was once beautiful, her age was starting to attack her face in the form of wrinkles and freckles. “If you want to keep that baby face, you better put on some sunscreen,” She handed me a 45 SPF from her beach bag. “I am afraid it’s too late for that,” I said tipping back my cold beverage. I usually loved beer on a hot day. But today the cold liquid made my stomach feel as though I had eaten something spoiled.

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“Hey doll, how about you throw that garbage out and I will give you some real beer,” a man from the Budweiser yacht said. He wore a red polo with

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“Hey doll, how about you throw that garbage out and I will give you some real beer,” a man from the Budweiser yacht said. He wore a red polo with Budweiser stretching across the back and khaki shorts. His head was covered with a Budweiser ball cap. He must have been staff member. He stood next to a bronze girl in a small red bikini. She reminded me of one of those shiny balls people put in their front yards. “Of course,” Clinton snatched my beer from the koozie and poured the remains into the lake. “Cera, you knew we were tired up to Aggie Bush’s boat.” Clinton hissed at me. “Where is he, inside on his throne? All I see is his hired help.” “They’re onto you,” Diana smirked. A group of men in red polo shirts carried over a massive white cooler of Budweiser products. “How bout you replace that crap.” The men walked across the swim dock and into the aft of the boat. Clinton and his friends removed our cooler, dumping the remains into the water. The ice sank into the hot green water, melting. Drunk waders grabbed at the unopened beer like someone had spilled a sack of twenty-dollar bills in the street. The men in red placed the new cooler in the center of the deck as if it were a coffee table. Clinton dug deep into the cooler, handing me a Bud Light. I winced. The thought of Bud Light made me feel queasy. “I need a half-time.” “Don’t act all picky now that you’re of age. It’s an extra cold one.” He shoved it into my koozie. I smiled and nodded. The man on the other boat raised his

! beer to cheers. One red bikini turned into three, then four. They surrounded

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beer to cheers. One red bikini turned into three, then four. They surrounded him shaking their hips to the music that now blared from their boat. With the heat and the smell of the lake, all I wanted was a beer. I put the beer to my lips to be polite, but did not drink. Couldn’t, somehow. A guy I knew casually and his girlfriend of the weekend came up taking off their shades revealing sun tan marks. “Burbs!” He screamed, dancing into the inside of the boat. The girlfriend chanted, “Shots, shots, shots,” slowly behind him. “Best day ever.” Diane’s fiancé said, throwing her a wink. Clinton disappeared after him into the cabin. As the door opened the sharp smell of rum wafted into the air. I loved "Burbs". The flavored rum was sweet and all the Red Bull gave me energy. But today the smell suddenly made me feel ill. Plus I hated the story behind the shot. A local Kansas City bar had named the tumbler-sized drink after women from the suburbs. It was typically served with a straw, but meant to be drunk like a shot all at once. It was said that women from the burbs would come for this drink frequently, wanting to forget their husbands and babies. “So how are you and Clinton doing?” Diane asked, reapplying sunscreen to her legs. “Good, I think.” She nodded. “You know when I was your age I wasted so much time with characters. As I have gotten older I have realized what things you need to make a relationship work.” “Honesty?” I felt my stomach whirl. My mother always told me, Some things are better left unsaid. Diane smiled. “Well of course, but you know there are other things that make

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relationships function. It’s not just about love and honesty. Picking a practical partner is important.” She took her brown hair down and brushed out the tangles.

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relationships function. It’s not just about love and honesty. Picking a practical partner is important.” She took her brown hair down and brushed out the tangles. “Take me and Tyler for example. He is not the most handsome man I know, but he will always support me, take care of me.” She pulled a sheer swimsuit cover over her brown bikini. "He can offer me a quality of life, he can love me properly.” I took another swig of my beer, staring at the brown murky surface of the lake. I wondered how much had been lost or dropped into this piss-invested, boozed up water: wedding rings, treasured family jewelry, people… I felt dizzy. “Cera this should not make you uncomfortable. Everyone is always afraid to talk about these things, but they are a reality. It’s not just a marriage showing off your love, it’s an arrangement for the rest of your life. Do you want to have a family with Clinton?” I twiddled my thumb. I looked at the hundred boats tied up over the cove. It seemed a strange place to be talking about love, marriage, and babies. On the Budweiser Boat, the girl in the red swimsuit was giving another girl a lap dance. The older men not in polo shirts were applauding. I wonder what the fossil at the drugstore would have thought if she saw this. I wished relationships were as simple as spare tires. “Someday.” “Cera you know someday has to be sooner rather than later for Clinton… Just think if you had a family with Clinton, he could take care of you. Provide for you. Did your parents send you to college?” “Yes, are still sending me through college.” I grinned. ! “Well then you must know how important it is. Do you want to send your kids to 14!

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“Well then you must know how important it is. Do you want to send your kids to college?” “Of course.” “Maybe you’re young, or maybe you have watched too many chick flicks. But these are the things you should be thinking about. You have a chance with a man that women my age would love to have.” She placed her big Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses on her face. The sliding glass door of the cabin opened and her fiancé’s oversized head popped out. “Hey soon-to-be wife, go upstairs, fire up the boat,” he said. “None of these fools can drive, looks like its me and you, captain and co- captain. Be there in a minute.” He shut the door. I could see him struggling to put his white T-shirt over his belly. “Dependable.” She smiled then hopped up the stairs to the control panels. I’d once read about expensive prostitutes that sailed the oceans, around the world with their rich lovers. For a minute I felt envious of these women. They were prostitutes sure, but weren’t we all? At least they were enjoyed, prized, desired--not turned into a means for reproduction. Clinton walked out and sat next to me. He’d taken off his sun visor and without it I could see his hair showed bits of gray. He snuggled in, his skin soft, holding my hand, kissing my cheek. Everything about him felt so harmless. “You are perfect for me.” He kissed my forehead as the boat pulled away. We waved to the girls on the Budweiser Boat. We moved slowly through the row of smaller boats. On a small pontoon, two forty-something women, topless and greased up with tanning oil were making out. “Fucking honk the horn!” Clinton yelled, his voice excited and childlike. ! Iheard the loud ocean liner sound. The girls waved and proceeded with their show. The woman on top was now kissing down the other woman’s belly. 15!

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I heard the loud ocean liner sound. The girls waved and proceeded with their show. The woman on top was now kissing down the other woman’s belly. “Fucking A! Get it!” Clinton pumped his fist in the air. I wondered if those women were mothers. We pulled out of the party cove, speeding up, moving past mansions. “Hey, Clint, how sober are you?” Diane’s voice called down from the controls, “You should probably help drive now that we’re out on the channel.“ Clinton nodded climbing the stairs. I sat by myself at the back of the boat letting it rock me. He threw down a captain hat. “Go grab a beer for me and a beer for you and get up here, Juicy.” What is wrong with me that I don’t want a drink, I thought as I walked into the air-conditioned part of the boat. And then I knew. I grabbed my bag, and dug out the second pink pill. I don’t know why I didn’t take it right then and there. Maybe it was the stench of the Burbs. Instead, I grabbed the pill and went to the foredeck, where it was quiet. I let the wind whip my hair and the water hit my face. My stomach churned and anxiety rose in my throat. I thought of fossils--a piece of a trace of a living thing, an impression. I felt like a fossil. Standing, holding on to the boat rail, my hands began to tingle and feel clammy. I shoved the pink pill into my mouth. Then I tilted my head back letting the beer fill my mouth until it couldn’t fill anymore. I swallowed hard. Instantly the beverage returned to the front of my mouth, this time warmer, thicker, escaping from the corners of my mouth. I held my hand trying to stop it, but it was too late. ! ! 16!

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I leaned over railing and watched as liquid pretzels poured into the lake, my youth sinking into the green waves. !

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! Carpenter Ants
by Sara Moore

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One week after we moved in, I watched the ants on the windowsill ceremoniously burrow, kick up the dust— fragile little piles of tiny cylindrical corpses. Crunchy relics. Hills upon hills of dead. When you shot poison into their nest, vacuumed up my makeshift monuments, you looked at me. Yesterday I saw a lone black body slide out from a hole so small, you’d never find it. This morning, again, the particles of wood—

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! I am heartless
by Sara Moore

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I am heartless The knife under our bed is Chafed dull, oranged with rust—a dried goldfish. He does not mean it when he says kill me. I use my thumbnail to scratch away the rough parts. When he sees, he is ox-eyed. Tomorrow I will cut the weeds out from his pupils. I am sorry. I’ll go outside. From behind their blinds, the neighbors watch me slice a line down my ribs. When he comes, he sees that I have given my heart to the dogs next door who pitter patter around it, but don’t touch.

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! Fresh Mowed Field

Issue 1 * 2012

by Michael Brownstein

I think the ingredients of suicide out of context wolf bane, the long tooth of moon, a leak of sugar in the sugar cane and one white breasted robin my brother found dead in the grass near his garden of luck. !

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! The Untimely Death Of A Solitary Salmon
by Alanna Wray

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Jesus, how could you possibly mean this?/ how could so much come between us? -Feral Foster the last thing the salmon sees— his great thrusting leap— the uvula of a grizzly great glottis, he thinks echoing up from the acidic interior— the souls of salmon stink with the grizzly’s bawl the bear’s duodenum prophesies with smug certainty— a new yawning, toothy, obscure eternity fish, hot in the air— prays

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the bear chomps —jarring,

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oh sweet blackness come down, sag me against the current, lock his jaw my time ain’t long. the bear chomps —jarring, fish thinks. now gills punctured under rotten molars, the ragged fish guts gasp oh lord, before I bring this building down be with me, let my body germinate, let not my god body terminate, alone. please, let there be glory. amen, says the grizzly.

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Ischemia Means
By Alanna Wray

grandma at the table, picking at her skin. Meanwhile, sneaky clot trips up vein blood, the black part means cells suffocate. In the brain’s sooty corner, peaked banks of parking lot snow, ruddy melting rivers, and dogs matted down. Ischemia, says the internet, makes you a sloppy shadow. As the beggar stands leaning, slurring for a quarter, she loses motor function. Outside the doctor whispers, she’s lost all her language.

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! ! What that really means, baby needs a blanket, baby needs a diaper, baby needs to tell you, the soup is burning her. !

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! Winter Kites by Caylin Capra-Thomas In the anarchy section of the French bookshop I say: My mouth is the deepest of wounds. I say: Everything I say is just a prologue to silence. Outside one perceives again, so it is an accumulation of days. Tuesday again. Wednesday again. The bins are out for curbside pickup So yesterday was Monday again & so tomorrow will be It is January & gusty. Despite my keenest yearning nobody flies a kite. Kites are small victories against the tyranny of wind. But a discarded grocery list lifts & blows away & the jambon and the thé menthe and the crème fraîche become an unlikely band of vagabonds. Then a man with a dog asks me for change. Then the Red Cross asks me for a minute. souviens plus. I say: Je n’en ai pas.

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I say: Non, merci. I say: Je ne me 25!

! Then a teenager with a petition asks me to write my name.

! Then a teenager with a petition asks me to write my name. souviens plus. Then an underdressed woman with an empty stroller asks if I’ve seen her daughter. She hands me a flyer & it pleads for someone else’s missing dog. I slowly make my way down the street ripping it up as I go. This too is a prologue to something silent but not to silence itself. !

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I say: Je ne me

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! Morse Can & Sub Rosa (an experiment with two poems)
by Ryan Headley

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[Read from to to, or to to from; One of two, or two in one] Morse Can Explain yourself It was if I had been standing all my life and finally breathing calmly I stepped to the bench and the tropical sweat cooled me the oscillation of the fans touched me my skin contours grew in bumps and caught cold hell I hold it close and I'm paid to not speak or I will be forgotten This life was the only way a second chance, Its tangled code but writing is forbidden It doesn't mean much to me, but means my life if let out, I'm the witness to one you'll never know Sub Rosa We had made God I was sitting down when they briefed me the headaches started soon after learning the alterations they had forced upon the universe in the wake of future war The window thinned before our lives ended in body A time sensitive piece to free the spirit, with high stakes and low probability To those in knowing the disclosed material be still with your mouth full The exercise speaking humanity's farewell counting such a magnitude makes me think Hello to many species, need to better.

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! High Brows & Jungle Foot (an experiment with two poems)
by Ryan Headley

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[Read from to to, or to to from; One of two, or two in one] High Brows Wet the comb there is no part like the swept cool I'm going to pull this back undoing the state Into the uncounted pile another one goes unequally in line A gliding storm, the summons of controlled chaos, Hold your ground wanting so bad to rearrange to touch Leave it and Walk To reclaim the perfect style, Brush the crown and polish the last stroke finding harmony Ham glaze, by reasoning with gravity you won't defy the need for a fix you speak to a jellied con Just smoothed thoughts sent to soft dunes refusing a part ! ! ! Jungle Foot Resisting the formal scratch and the itch of flavor Avoiding the angle of friction Sweet talk to it fully noticed into nurtured quarters with the abstaining practice I wish this wish to bless away hunger Thread the hair and skin with blades and sticks, with claws Don't touch it Away! Combating the urge Dust off your discipline, and balance Stand still in a pinch of lust that cannot reply to slamming hum weight of freedom in negotiations. 28!

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The Rug of Snow on the Roof Sloughs Off
by William Doreski

With a plush little sigh, the rug of snow on the roof sloughs off and drops to the sidewalk below. You in your ermine hairdo barely avoid the sudden crush but laugh that pearly laugh everyone, after a glass of wine, admires. Meanwhile I puzzle over Whitman, admiring the flex of his lines. Like latitude and longitude they cage an entire continent without actually leaving the page. Can I convey this cartography to digital students engrossed in egos too small to support them? You’ve advised me to abandon them to work the tiny buttons of phones and text each other non sequiturs. But after your brush with snow-slough you ascend the stairs chuckling with your long woolen coat hushing

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against your body, reaffirming your dominance of your world. Surely you understand Whitman’s largesse, his grasp of the moment in full rotundity. Maybe now the foreplay of geography means not just the sullen streets you drive, but verticals plumbed to alert us to dimensions too often dismissed as the realm of hairy old gods. Your coat hisses down the corridor as you toss your mane and rattle a fistful of keys. Doors open as usual. I return to Whitman and realize that instead of the whisper of your long black coat I might be hearing the shushing of his comprehensive old beard.

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My Thunderbolt Son
by Andrew Norman

My thunderbolt son, little argon-and-glass boy: tungsten-hum always.

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! Charming Chinese Sisters
by Julie Gesin

Issue 1 * 2012

Rain falls with soft white noise, swelling the moss around the ostrich fern outside the window. “When the rain stops, I’ll go out there with a trowel,” Dahlia thinks to herself. The fern had a good, long life. Eighteen years ago she planted it in front of the house, along with two camellias. Benjamin was only four then. He wore dinosaur rain boots and dug in the mud with a sand shovel. This year, October came with storms and a promise of cold winter. Bubbling paint on the windowsill is a sign of water damage and rotting wood. In her chilly living room, Dahlia shudders at the possibility of termites devouring her home. She’s saving on energy costs, a vast shawl wrapped over her sweater and jeans. She poured eighteen years of her life into her little Victorian house, as she did into her son. The son has left, but the house’s still hers. Dahlia takes a sip of steaming water with lemon- her old lady drink. Can’t do coffee anymore. It makes the antique letter opener tremble in her long, white fingers when she opens her mail. A letter from Employment Development Department says she is eligible for an unemployment extension. She exhales. No need to buy coffee. Everything is within walking distance. If the roof doesn’t leak, if there are no termites, she can make it through a few more months. She sorts her mail into three tidy stacks: Overdue bills that threaten to cut off her utilities need immediate attention, less menacing bills can wait, all other correspondence makes up the smallest pile. There was a time when she never worried. Everyone was prospering from “dot coms” and jobs were aplenty. After Benjamin started Kindergarten, she went back to work at Metotech and soon became a senior technical writer there. She enjoyed her career and loved being a mom. Faces of Benjamin in different stages cluster like grapes on ochre walls: The irresistibly chubby baby, a smiling little Superman, a longhaired teenager, a college kid - so perfectly American, handsome, sunny. “He’ll always stay close,” she thought. There will be Happy Mothers Day outings, hockey games, and girlfriends over for dinner. At the end the ex-husband won. He lured Benjamin across the ! country through an undoubtedly intentional encounter with his friends’ daughter. 32! Dahlia can imagine how it was. Her ex and his third wife are mixing cocktails in their post-modern house in upstate New York, where Benjamin spent every July. Another

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country through an undoubtedly intentional encounter with his friends’ daughter. Dahlia can imagine how it was. Her ex and his third wife are mixing cocktails in their post-modern house in upstate New York, where Benjamin spent every July. Another well-heeled, well-traveled middle-aged couple comes over with their daughter. Lola is going to Brown in the fall. She’s a rock-climber with a sleek, long body and a perfect tan. Lola is a reluctant guest and would rather be with her girlfriends, planning a trip to Greece; then she sees Benjamin and everyone’s lives begin to alter. If Benjamin was here, he could have gone to Berkeley, to Stanford even, but he chose Brown after meeting Lola. Outside now, Dahlia digs around the fern in yellow latex gloves. Rain covers the city, separating her from the people safely concealed in houses and cars. She is an island stooping in a watery midst. A little girl points at her through the window of a minivan that slowly floats by. Dahlia wonders what the girl is thinking. “A crazy old lady is digging in the mud in the rain.” There are little clumps under the moss: peanuts. The squirrels buried them all over. They still scrape on Benjamin’s bedroom window demanding that he feed them. Dahlia is so lonely. She misses Benjamin so very much, but he will never know. She won’t shadow his happiness with guilt. Her job developer wants her to apply at the local school district as a teacher’s aide for special education. The longer she stays unemployed, the less are her chances of finding a job, he tells her. “They just want to stick me anywhere and write me off,” Dahlia grumbles to herself. This job pays next to nothing. She doesn’t want to work at a school, especially not for special education, though she loved having kids around. Little boys and squirrels scampered through her backyard. She used to get mad at Benjamin for feeding the squirrels because they dug in her flowerbeds. Now she feeds them herself sometimes. She fumed when kids tracked mud into the house. Now her hardwood floors are flawlessly clean. She used to think spotless floors would make her happy. They don’t. The school district office is an old building with naked windows and walls slippery with rain. A marker shrieks against the whiteboard as the coordinator writes down the application process. Dahlia’s Metotech office on Berry Street had a view of the bay and a Knoll desk. There was a juice bar in the lobby. After economy took ! down her face as if her time of aging came alongside the fraying and scoffing of the world around 33!

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a dive, the juice bar disappeared, and the high-end furnishings began to slowly lose their luster. Dahlia’s hair started to turn gray and lines crept down her face as if her time of aging came alongside the fraying and scoffing of the world around her. At home Dahlia carefully sands the peeling windowsill and seals the cracks with tar to stave off the termites. There’s half a gallon of white gloss in the basement and the doors can use a touch up, too. She must slow down the aging process, or her quiet existence will spiral into a dullness of mind. Lost in rhythmic sweeps of the brush, she jumps when the phone rings, splattering fine mist of white on her face. It’s Benjamin. He’s not coming for Thanksgiving this year and wants to know if she could fly out instead. “I can’t, Honey,” she says. She tells him about the rain, the squirrels, the San Jose Sharks, and sends thousands of kisses over the phone. Her voice, hopeful and happy, crumbles into a sob as she hangs up. Benjamin is better off where there is vitality and abundance. Perhaps she should just sell this albatross of a house and move closer to him. Maybe the job market will be better there, and she can even meet someone, before she’s completely shriveled up. Yet, this house is the only tangible proof of her accomplishments, of her existence. She belongs to it. A week later, the school district assigns her a job. Dahlia dresses with apprehension in the morning. “Wear comfortable clothes, athletic shoes are preferable,” she was told. What does it mean? Is she going to be chasing the kids, or will someone be chasing her? The school sits on a hill where houses are encased in iron bars and storefronts smell of urine. Can she even safely leave her car in that part of town? The faded floor of the school corridor glistens with some mysterious substance. Outside, cold rain pounds the high, grimy windows. A familiar smell – a mixture of musty books, dusty basketballs, and sweaty bodies too young to care about hygiene, reminds her of all the schools she’s ever been in. Dahlia freezes in front of room 113, then slowly opens the door. Her senses are assaulted. A stench, indescribably vile, nearly makes her gag. A loud, low wail of “Leave your sinful ways behind!” pervades the room, dissipating other clamor. A portly boy of nine or ten sways in a chair singing the mournful hymn. Another boy, thin and small, creeps past Dahlia on spindly legs. He peers into her face, shrieks and jumps away towards the corner of the room. ! from a bench cluttered with pillows and stuffed toys. A tall man, his body depleted 34! of fat, of substance,

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There, two more children observe Dahlia with misgiving from a bench cluttered with pillows and stuffed toys. A tall man, his body depleted of fat, of substance, crouches near a cluster of desks. Dahlia’s mind desperately reaches out for the stillness of her house, but it’s too late to run away. The man stands up and looks at her through myopic gentle eyes, calm in the midst of the cacophony. “Hello, I’m Fred Hall.” He stoops down again and swiftly whisks a child from under the desk: An Asian girl with a bowl haircut and a face frozen in an angry scowl. Her little teeth grind out a howl of discontent; feces fall out of her pant leg as Fred pulls her towards the bathroom door. She stuffs a thumb in her mouth and her face suddenly relaxes and alters from grotesque to lovely- part baby, part child, part otherworldly. They disappear into the bathroom, yet something of her remains and it’s not just the mess on the floor. Dahlia turns around. Another girl, a carbon copy of the first, softly sways behind her, graceful fingers catching invisible snowflakes in the air. The twins are Dahlia’s charges and their names are Samantha and Sylvia, both autistic and nonverbal. The girls were abandoned by their mother at birth and live with their grandmother. That’s all Dahlia knows about them, since she’s only a long-term substitute, not privy to students’ personal information. Samantha carries her backpack the proper way and sometimes sits down next to Dahlia during book time. Dahlia moves Samantha’s finger along with the words they read, until the girl pulls it out of Dahlia’s grasp. Samantha must be watched constantly so that she doesn’t swallow marker caps or pebbles in the yard. There’s not much to be done about Sylvia, the snowflake dancer, who doesn’t seem to live in this world at all, refuses to wear shoes and spends her time in the corner catching invisible friends. Working with autistic children sounded noble to Dahlia before she started doing it but now she doesn’t talk much about her new job. Every day, the yellow bus drops the twins off at the school curb by the garbage dumpsters. Dahlia forces Sylvia’s feet into shoes, drapes the backpack over Samantha’s back, and drags the girls up the driveway to their classroom. The day passes in monotony of same books, ABC’s, and horrible school lunches that often end up in her lap. Repetition is good for children, especially autistic children, but Dahlia doesn’t feel she’s making any difference at all. After Samantha decides to put her face in the toilet to taste the water, Dahlia gently scolds her, wiping her face with a chenille scarf instead of ! By Christmas, a pile of bills on her desk shrinks and the house is animated with calls 35!

! the rough paper towels. Samantha’s skin is extraordinarily soft.

Issue 1 * 2012

By Christmas, a pile of bills on her desk shrinks and the house is animated with calls from Benjamin. He wants to know about her job and he’s the only one she’ll tell all about it to. He wishes he could volunteer in her class and that makes Dahlia proud, but there is a sense of guilt. Even though the two girls will never step into her house or even know her name, she cannot help feeling as if they’re her children too. Is that fair to her real son? But Benjamin is so far away and a mother is a terrible thing to waste. Mr. Hall is soft-spoken, kind and humble in his haze of endless patience. In Dahlia’s opinion, he has a right to feel “noble” about his work. Often, his partner stops by with a violin and a cello, and the two men play music for the class. The children listen blissfully. A momentary miracle is often interrupted by “Leave your sinful ways behind!” Samantha has grown quite attached to the scarf after the toilet water incident. She squeezes the soft chenille bumps with her fingers, and rubs it against her cheek. Outside the classroom, Dahlia always holds Samantha’s hand. The hand, sticky soft and surrounded by a moist, chewed up sleeve, made Dahlia uncomfortable at first. Now she’s grown so accustomed to holding it, she’s painfully aware of its absence outside of the school. First spring day catches Dahlia by surprise, as the wind sends scents of green grass and California poppies into the schoolyard. Who needs an office with a view, when she can see the bay from blacktop littered with basketballs and orange peels? Drowsy from the sun, she sits with the children on the bench outside, reading to Samantha whose eyes are lost deep in the bay. Nearby, Sylvia sways with her snowflakes in a white camisole blouse that hugs her slendersilhouette. Dahlia stops reading to watch Sylvia. She loves the two charming Chinese sisters from the bottomless, primeval place where Benjamin’s umbilical cord connected to her. Suddenly, Samantha’s hands are on Dahlia’s face, as the girl gently turns her head back towards the book. Dahlia gasps at this unexpected progress, at the recognition of her existence, of the unfinished reading. She glances at Mr. Hall as tears well up in her eyes. She wants to hug the girls, to pick them up and cradle ! them the way she did with Benjamin when he was little and she was a true mother. 36!

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them the way she did with Benjamin when he was little and she was a true mother. The city is infused with spring and it feels good to be out of the house where the windowsill is bubbling again with a certainty of termites. At school, Dahlia belongs to the twins. Now Samantha and Sylvia both hold her hands as they walk around. Other teachers notice and greet all three of them with smiles. Even kids from mainstream classes stop with a surprised look, then bounce away like dropped peas on the blacktop. Dahlia is beaming. There is progress. It may not have changed the twins’ lives, but it certainly changed hers. One day, when Dahlia comes home, her phone rings and the number looks vaguely familiar. She lets it go to voicemail, and then listens to the message. “Hello, this is Steven Green from the Metotech HR department. I'm calling to let you know that due to our improved profitability in the last calendar year, your former position has been reinstated. We hope that you are still interested and available to work for us.” Rain slaps the dark bedroom window. “Benjamin, if only you were here,” Dahlia whispers. She owes him something -a visit, at least. He is her son, a part of her. She has no past with the twins, only a lopsided love that spills onto everything in its path. Old age crawls though the cracks of the house that’s turning into an organic thing, alive with moss and termites and pieces of her life. The inevitable decision vomits tears into her mouth as she heaves with a sob. Tomorrow, she will return that call. Tomorrow, she will say yes.

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! Salt

Issue 1 * 2012

by Matthew Gasda

The interiors are made of glass And the visionary gleam has blackened to the husk. This mood sustains itself on silence Lengthening out like a ripple through A sea-bird’s throat. You’ve sanded down the sunlight Until it is like a grain of salt. A memory that you can scatter listlessly across your Dreams; a fish-hook in the gut, stars Falling drunk into the water.

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Issue 1 * 2012

Your Footprints Among Many
by Daniel Maroti

I wonder right now if you’re there on your porch smoking a stale cigarette, as I burying my head in the whiter snow search for your footprints, among many. I know these because I know you, dragging your left foot slightly behind its partner as if you were burdening a sharp pain you were completely unaware of or just too scared to show. At night, when the main drag is lit with Christmas light decorations, shining, like a piece of candy I won’t eat simply for its design, the bars attract faces ambiguous as the sole of a shoe. Up the street, the fluorescent lamp inside your room burns blue in my imagination and comforts me to find your shadow dancing, like the ghost of my affection, behind the red tapestry that hangs on your street side window overlooking the red white bluish sign of the Mobile stationthe one you hate because it doesn’t sell coffee or cigarettes. As each day’s awakening comes by something different; the headache of a tow truck backing up

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! As each day’s awakening comes by something different; the headache of a tow truck backing up beeping, evenly and fervently or the clanks of bottles collected for a five cent repossession fee, as if bottles were redemption for the soul, every day finds me at the bottom of your steps, looking up at the blue house I love only in my dreams the paint chipped and wilting, wondering if I should throw a rock your neighbor keeps as a boundary to her garden through your double glass paned window frame. !

Issue 1 * 2012

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! Fruit
by Suzanne Lunden

Issue 1 * 2012

I read recently that the fruit in the Garden of Eden was probably a pomegranate, that apples were unlikely in civilization’s cradle – Delicate and bursting, complicated, it fits better the crime, Eve’s breast sticky, her hand smearing Hester Prynne’s dowdy coat, the underpants of tomboys, the rims of empty glasses on the bar before noon, after midnight, the maiden cheek, the eager cunt – When you tore my apple in half on the train, I couldn’t believe how clean it was, the sweat of the flesh, the snap of the skin.

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! Seeds
by Suzanne Lunden

Issue 1 * 2012

“For instance, the inverted order of the first lines – a fragment – of Paradise Lost signals it as verse: “Of Man’s first disobedience, and the fruit / Of that forbidden tree whose mortal taste / Brought death into the world, and all our woe, / With loss of Eden.” Starting with the preposition “of” opens a door into the poem, making the first lines an abstract for the rest. “Of” is highly relational, a word that signifies groupings and judgment.” – Natasha Saje, “Frontloading Syntax” p. 50 Of the etymology of fruit: To be seedy: Of ancient translation: To flower in Eden: Of women Of men: To live at the trace of a finger: Of two high stools in a corner, of a silence: To know: Of cold bark and warm hands: To stumble in the stairwell: Of birthmarks: To not say: Of pink Swelling to red: To linger: Of past Dawn, of wine lips, of gates: To step over what’s broken: Of bottles, of bargains with gods: To drink, to eat.

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Issue 1 * 2012

Table for One
by Suzanne Lunden

Pat gently the lips after soup. Squint into the canopied square of sky. Do not scorn the waiter: He is busy inside, where two young women slouch in the window seat, one wearing black, the other bare legs. They need more coffee. You don’t need to be anywhere. It’s a beautiful day. Enjoy. Sit patiently before your solitary altar: one plate with one fontina smear, one bowl and one spoon, one napkin, (crumple delicately), one empty glass atop one wet ring on the tablecloth, faded but for this stamp, dark red and creeping. Avoid staring at it too long, at the waiter, at the girl’s bare leg, so tan through the window, like a photograph from a magazine that you wish you had in your bag, one with cheerful advice on waxing and sweaters, with horoscopes, perfume samples. Exhale. Recross your legs. Look at the old stone stairs in the yard next door, concrete and treeroot locked in crumbling embrace. Find the flicker of sparrow. Hear its song. Hear the rests.

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! Norse Mythology
by Suzanne Lunden

Issue 1 * 2012

Go on, my darling, about the origins of the world: the great tree stretching its arms to the heavens, parting the chaos, grace, strength, impossibility: impossible that you do not create the space around you, are not my source of air, that primal fires do not lick at your fingers and toes: go on, darling, tongue me language, let me read your every void, memorize the ancient phrasing of your shoulders, your hips, your gentle apocalypse: go on, go on, weight me with symbols, let me cradle your infinities, your heaviest delicacies, your splinters and knots and seeds –

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! As If The Rain
by PD Lyons

Issue 1 * 2012

Emily Dickinson used to sneak out. Sometimes in day light, mostly at night. Tip toeing carefully down the back stairs Even though nobody else was there. Always a hat a shawl or a veil To keep the neighbours off her trail. Walking along the streets of the town Glimpses her reflection among dry goods and gowns And in the shop she has been seeking makes her purchase from a little man who has always honoured their agreement And never Miss Emily’s secrets revealed. Bag of tobacco, skins and matches snapped up in her bag. While wrapped in brown paper knotted with string – a bottle of port She tucks under her wing. Emily Dickinson used to sneak out. Later that night she did it again. Carefully tip toeing down the back stair Even though nobody else was there. Making her way out to the train station, Counting the stars as she sat on the bench, Naming new constellations while she was waiting. Defined by an overcoat of wrinkles and stains Rodent hands desperate deep dead end pockets Rusty knife retrieved by one opened by the other String and paper, slit and peeled ~ Turbulent mouth not spilling a drop A shudder of sighs he sits down beside her. What it’s like on the other side of the ocean.

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! ! Names of young girls, young men. Who might be living? Who might be dead? And sometimes, only warm smoke shapes lingering As if the rain would never come again on a Tuesday night in Amherst…

Issue 1 * 2012

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Issue 1 * 2012

Where I’ve Lost
by Andrew Norman

Sometimes, I am startled out of myself. It’s annoying. I collect teeth and knuckles, hair and toenails in a linty dust-pile on the cool kitchen linoleum spit on my palms and start patting handfuls of the stuff in clumps across my arms and chest. There’s always a little extra though, each time. That, I kick under the fridge.

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! Duane Doesn’t Visit His Old Man
by John Grey

Issue 1 * 2012

There you go again, exaggerating the size of the cockroach. Was its body really as big as an Italian grandmother? Were its wings truly as wide as a crop-duster plane? And you tell me you're homeless, living in an alley, but this apartment has a ceiling, damp patches and all. And sure the walls are so thin that your neighbors are yourself some nights but they are walls. And they're papered, at least three times from what I can see. You're not starving. There's cans of soup in your cupboard. And a carton of milk in the refrigerator that's barely nudging its sell by date. Sure, I saw the cockroach too but it was an ordinary roach, not a giant. And the rat's just a rat, might even be a mouse if you took time to measure. And enough of this, ! "I wish I was dead" routine. 48!

! ! And enough of this, "I wish I was dead" routine. You're alive and you're stuck with it. And don't talk to me about ungrateful kids who never visit. Who wants to sit here and hear how bad you've got it? Only the roaches, apparently.

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! A Ring for a Girl
by Thomas Fricilone

Issue 1 * 2012

In a bus stop bathroom in Cleveland A man shows me a ring asks me if I have a girlfriend tell him, "Damn too expensive" he asks me if I'm taking it to the graveyard said I just might He refuses to believe tells me I gotta spend it sometime And she pays too so I leave sit outside next to a young couple and a garbage can Watching the girl pick at the boys face makes me sick popping pimples in a greyhound station isn't about you it never was That's why you coming here meeting me halfway mix messages towards mayhem And separate needs impede on wants ! The girl kisses the zit face 50!

! ! The girl kisses the zit face and the garbage can's scent punches my face she asks him to take her to the grave says he just might

Issue 1 * 2012

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! Dirty a bar mouth
by Mariano Henestrosa

Issue 1 * 2012

An other Vermouth... and yet, mint: minty is your gummish, fake mouth. Why? (Feel the sticky murkiness: inhale its stale absurdity) Why then, I ask? Kiss me as you are! For it's your sad cigarette mouth of alcohol –that I want... … you to kiss me, as dirty a bar mouth as you… Ver mouth, waiter! Vermouth, goddamnit! Sigh. Vermouth. So sweet. ! 52!

! The Things You’d Least Expect, Speak
by Jana Pollack

Issue 1 * 2012

“It’s funny to look at you this way,” he said. “Straight across, after so much time lying down next to you. It’s funny that there is this table in between us.” I nodded and looked down at the fake wooden table and then raised my head and looked again. I asked you if you wanted coffee and you said you might get a coke. I asked if you usually drank coke with breakfast? You said sometimes. You’re not really a coffee guy. The menu was standard and I got two eggs. Across the diner, I saw someone I went to high school with. The vague outline of his face tugged me back. When I told you, you pointed at him. “Don’t point!” I said. The eggs arrived. I covered them with ketchup and the waiter brought the check right away. Your arm was around me when we left and it felt like an unanswered telephone call.

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His Tattoo
by Kenneth P. Gurney

Dianne noticed he wore a shut window upon his chest and in the business chair in a business blue suit behind the business desk littered with many vascular maintenance and blood supply reports labored his heart as a flapping pigeon approached a landing on the exterior sill.

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Issue 1 * 2012

Mizzou
by Nick Brennan

Still she hears him spittingwaiting for the brake man to get enough gumption to lend a hand and for the icebox to learn how to stock itself every now & then. She tries to forget him smacking his lips, sucking on air the way he did when he would tongue pits of the plums she would pick for pudding for hours against the holes in his cheeksregular plum ‘pudding’ to him. But still she drifts to the crackling he made with his ring when he scratched his pit grooves white after drying them in the mizzou sun.

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Issue 1 * 2012

Only This One
by Marissa Anderson

Fit a piano in my fridge. Don't ask me how. I take it out and play it when I'm hungry to die, and things hidden deep within my body suddenly find a way out; the secret things. The sad things. The raw, unfiltered joy. I've spent years trying to flush the spit from these keys, but these songs are too wet for any rag I could get my hands on, drowned the poor cloth that didn't know what it had coming. When the wood and the wire and the elephants finally crack under the weight, it'll be eighty eight angels ripping in half, angel teeth flying in your lapI'll see you when the whip comes down. !

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! What
by Sara Moore

Issue 1 * 2012

if tomorrow is not a bread basket? if this little loaf I baked in the night, rubbing butter and sugar all over the inside of the pan with my bare fingers, cools outside and is devoured by a bird or a wolf or a child—or even you. What if tomorrow is not a bread basket? What will I tell my children about days? What will I have to show for all the baking?

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! ! More Poetry. Less Everything Else.
by Caylin Capra-Thomas

Issue 1 * 2012

Less staring into your own red eyes in the mirror. Less hair brushing, tooth flossing, pimple popping. Less bracing against every day. Less winter. Less shrill silence. Quiet panic. Less gravel in the rug, orange dust on Doritos. Less ugly. Less soft. More poetry. More claw. More hell-bent iron will. More bones, slender fingers. More grapeleaf, empty wine bottle. More spilt milk. More untouched piano keys, more ivory, more sand. More. More pretty, more brutal, more always. More hell. More this, more this, more— !

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