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Vol. 10, No. 1 Contents

The Mooring Line  by ANNA BLACKETT

23 March 2010
fiction, short story

Hewitt wakes to find his arm asleep beneath his wife's neck. The old patchwork quilt is gone, kicked to the floor during the night and now only the top sheet remains between them and the cold draft from the cracked windowpane. He watches her shoulders rise and fall with each breath—tries to match her rhythm. Before getting up he kisses her back, between her shoulder blades, and she shivers, pulling the sheet to her chin. He slides his arm out from underneath her, sits on the edge of the bed and shakes it to regain feeling. His feet search the cold wood floor for his slippers. She stirs.

"Where are you going?" she asks.

Pleased to Meet You at the Nebuchadnezzar  by MOLLY MCQUADE

6 March 2010
fiction, flash fiction

Sunken in the bulbous tower of the Belvedere, a waiter experiments with a gesture, swaying on his rotund and cushioned palm the wasted quiddity of a wine glass. Not overly long-stemmed, the glass seems to cling to the deeply inset dimples of his well-fleshed, roomy hand. The puttering small bubbles of the alcohol vanish slowly one by one, as he dithers with gravity.

Pangur Ban  by  ANONYMOUS

3 July 2010
poetry, classic

I and Pangur Ban my cat,

Tis a like task we are at:

Hunting mice is his delight,

Hunting words I sit all night.

Notes on Dormancy
(The Top-Ten Fears of the Born-Again Virgin)

2 April 2010
poetry, prose poem

1) Darkness (So lately I have these visions — the sky at a hover by the off-ramp, steam percolating off the half-thawed river like something vaguely of the body, threaded with frost, hibernatory and beating)

2) Hair Loss (and so all she wants is a cold one and maybe a booth with a view of the local scene but then there's this strung-out looking, mullet-headed guy out of nowhere and suddenly she's in this white van, okay, it's like something straight of out "Silence of the Lambs" and the lack of light is already making her skin do weird things, breaking out like crazy…)

3) Tenderness (the way the body reveals its single, herbaceous intent)

the shadows of passing birds  by ROBYN ART

30 March 2010

but why for the life of it the singing, why the lust-fed hands

like a pair of burning tongs, the table lacquered in moonlight,

why the moonlight, inky and desolate, why the lollygagging

in the snack aisle, the lying awake in the room beneath the all-night

fisticuffs of rain, why if not for the life of it the body, shaken but not

apterous, not ruined but ruminant, a dissonance, a fog, a humming…

nothing better to do  by CADE COLLUM

11 May 2010

the other night, i waited up

while the living room burned to ash.

i recalled the way a concussion feels

and how changes brand us.

the cushions on the couch smeared and singed when

i sat down, but this was hardly an interruption.

on the state of a man in shock  by CADE COLLUM

8 May 2010

he was bound and stitched. they hadn't a need to cut him loose.

after many times of him slipping, worming his way, logically,

out of those predicaments—the ones where

he swallowed the oaks and unbecame himself—less predictably each go round.

now they've given him a place, or worse.

slapout  by CADE COLLUM

2 May 2010

the cotton grows wings and rises,

rocking chairs bare their wooden knees.

there are amphetamines in the horses' hay,

psychotropics in the cattle trough,

on the dinnerplate, styrofoam cornbread.

a porch with a mouthful of boards says hello

to a church steeple, who asks

what is this cheap oak table tarnish smell in the air?

this day to come  by CADE COLLUM

5 May 2010

the windmill yawns and turns over. the brass chimes

grunt, half in sleep. from the house, someone sings

and i will never forget this sound, the openness of that voice:

the only song—

there is only here and there and gone.

The Chemist of the Zero Dolmen  by NORMAN DUBIE

20 May 2010

The wind tugs at the loose treeline.

Dark skiers push through fog—

the snow adjusts its many shrouds

while blind sled dogs awaken beside the river.

NAS FUT 1012.0 ↓ 31.5. The birches

slice a dull sun.

The Dead Madrigal Bears of Afghanistan  by NORMAN DUBIE

14 May 2010

They wear the clever hats

of the Dog Star, of vehrmacht palettes,

not, mind you,

the German officers, but the bears

who are the visitors!

The Flower Octagon of Old Manhattan  by NORMAN DUBIE

17 May 2010

Laura said it must be a vagina of cabbage

with an army of white ants.

The postman in knee socks

wears an aluminum-foil hat

over his long red locks.

The bats are leaving their caves

and with some haste we have discovered early evening.

Ten Birthdays  by EMILY KENDAL FREY

12 April 2010
poetry, prose poem

I drove my truck across groomed Texas to an enormous crucifix, the biggest one in the nation. I was alien, terrified. I'd gone there with a purpose but arrived to find the place barren. A cop drove by. I turned back on to the highway.

Lying on the floor of the place we'd just moved to in Portland—B. and I—listening to CDs, there was nothing there but the two of us, and the music.


15 April 2010
poetry, prose poem

A man spent time at the bottom of a vase. "Arrange me, please," he heard the air around him say. The man knew he should have a plan but he had none. One day he noticed a fly outside. It bumped its big slimy eye on the glass.


2 March 2010
poetry, prose poem

The hero in this story was never born. If you never say never, you can't ever say nevermind. Say this is the beginning. Say this is the end. Say your princess is in another castle. Say the castle is made of sand.

from Wrack Line  by ROB SCHLEGEL

27 March 2010

I run out of songs for the piano

which has been making sounds all night

connecting me to her past

like humerus swelled to the tune of frozen ground

a field turned flame and fern

in ink a weather unexpected

Duck Rabbit  by SANDRA SIMONDS

24 April 2010

This is the story of my grandfather Benjamin Simonds

who survived Auschwitz. He kept

a scrap. Torn label of a can of con-

densed milk. He took dictation. He

dictated. He flipped the dialectic flapjack. He was

a gambling man. People think prisoners don't gamble.

Gamblers are always and only prisoners.

Once he told me that the spine is a prison.

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend  by SANDRA SIMONDS

21 April 2010

I was going to write a poem about giving birth,

about meconium and vernix,

the cubic zirconium

scattered on the floor tiles of the hospital room.

It would have been about false

windows that face false

walls, about

the tiny hamburger—the mustard too yellow and sweet…

The New Curriculum  by SANDRA SIMONDS

18 April 2010

is all about showing off how different it will be from

the old curriculum. The old

books point us to the new

ones won't matter when the old

ones point us to the

new. You, the new you

will learn one

less language.

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