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Vol. 10, No. 2 Contents

Ficus: A Tragic Love Story  by LAURA RODERICK

20 August 2010
fiction, short story

When I first bought my plastic ficus he was small, about as high as my knees. The bottom half of him was buried in a plastic, earth colored pot that looked heavier than it really was and there was a bed of faux-moss covering his lack of roots.

I wanted him for my home office because I was missing summer in the middle of November. He had been dumped onto the sale shelf and I saw him and knew that it was meant to be. His glossy leaves reflected the fluorescent lights in a way that was perfectly unnatural and completely beautiful to me.

Lot's Wife's Lot  by STEVEN BREYAK

14 August 2010

Poor dear, she'll never get to disappear

until we tire of her taste. Like the minute hand

that doesn't move, our eyes' formaldehyde

keep her glued. And our literature, like her,

stares forever back at nothing much left.

On Soft Terror  by STEVEN BREYAK

17 August 2010

How many public sinks left running for ghost hands?

Your change given in foreign coins and still

coming up short. Imagine all the salt shakers

loosened upon the world; names scrawled into sidewalks;

people who hate people and work in services

you have to tip; patrons making waitresses cry right now.

The Animal Husbandman's Letter to His Wife  by MELISSA CUNDIEFF-PEXA

22 July 2010

I pulled a pocket watch from one of the

bodies tonight. It looks very old, has

diamonds as white as the droppings of an

aspen married in ash to a new earth.

Our sweet extinct are cheering in heaven!

Before the Fallout We Traded Imaginary Friends like Football Cards  by JESSE DAMIANI

12 July 2010

In 1994 you slung thirty dirty verbs and my sister's pacifier over

the cinder block wall separating our house from the neighbor's.

You might not remember, but then, you weren't the one who had

to climb over and salvage it, pal; I always had your back, I was

the fixer. And yeah, we've been through this—I know you don't

exist but I must admit, even 15 years later, when nobody's around

I sometimes stick my fingers in ugly places…


15 July 2010

Touch me



I swear,

this time—

we'll explode

like a super


like the last

passenger car

in the train…

Sputnik as Holy Ghost  by GREGORY DONOVAN

27 August 2010

Born under the sign of Stromboli, wrinkled

As the face of the two-thousand-year-old man

With skin cap tied with braided thong beneath

His chin, pulled from the bog with forceps, Ingrid

My mother, my father a guy who lived in the sky.

Triumph of the Will as Underwater Ballet  by GREGORY DONOVAN

24 August 2010

The shaman finds a mirror carefully slipped

beneath the water of a running stream

will open a window in the land of the dead.

Here, the yellow and umber leaves, doom boats

strapping the current, slip quickly over the dappled

bottom where rusted wheels and bent scaffolds backdrop

The Triumph of the Will as it simmers there, bubbling,

awaiting the buoys of resurrection.

Blessing for the Middle of the Night  by MARGARET MK HESS

10 August 2010

May you live long under our beds and in our closets,

in our washing machines and our quiet showers.

We undress for you like no one else.

May you breathe across me as I learn to sit with you…


8 July 2010

Whether you salt me or not

We swallow our mouths together.

We call states.

Name together the animals we'd kill

Singing O Dead Angels all the while.

The Albatross Is a Paper Bird  by SHAYLAH KLOSKA

5 July 2010

In the book there is a bloody picture of the bird.

Two women stretch the wingspan.

They are gloved and smiling.

Here off the alley we fend for nothing.

We move barefooted silently on stairs that do not creak.


30 July 2010

Before leaving the shop,

                        my mother waves

the tailor back, asks

for the remaining fabric

after the alterations.

The Owners, the Animals  by MICHAEL SCHMELTZER

27 July 2010

As if weeds, as if gardener.

And the chimp's owner swore

to the reporter she'd do it again,

raise the creature as offspring until

the mauling, the demolished

face, the frenzy, the bullets

piercing the animal flesh,


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