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Vol. 6, No. 4 Contents

Thrift Shop Confessional  by RICHIE DENT

25 February 2007
fiction, short story

I don't know what was harder to believe, that Pam's mother threw her out of the house or that Gail Tate turned Born Again! I thought most people who get suckered into those kinds of religious cults are sheepish and anti-social…losers. But Gail joins sports and has yearbooks filled with sentiments like, thank you for being you and a girl above the crowd. Don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against Born Agains.

No More Alligator Feet  by AARON H. GILBREATH

16 February 2007
fiction, short story, editors' select

One-bedroom apartments feel unnecessarily large with just one person in them. Who knows, I may be renting my own studio soon, or staying in this big apartment by myself 'til the lease runs out. But I doubt, despite what Sue may want, that I'll be getting a new job anytime soon.

The Lightning-Rod Man  by HERMAN MELVILLE

15 December 2006
fiction, short story, classic

His sunken pitfalls of eyes were ringed by indigo halos, and played with an innocuous sort of lightning: the gleam without the bolt. The whole man was dripping. He stood in a puddle on the bare oak floor: his strange walking-stick vertically resting at his side.

The Paradise of Bachelors  by HERMAN MELVILLE

31 January 2007
fiction, short story, classic

The furniture was wonderfully unpretending, old, and snug. No new shining mahogany, sticky with undried varnish; no uncomfortably luxurious ottomans, and sofas too fine to use, vexed you in this sedate apartment. It is a thing which every sensible American should learn from every sensible Englishman, that glare and glitter, gimcracks and gewgaws, are not indispensable to domestic solacement. The American Benedick snatches, down-town, a tough chop in a gilded show-box; the English bachelor leisurely dines at home on that incomparable South Down of his, off a plain deal board.

The Tartarus of Maids  by HERMAN MELVILLE

11 January 2007
fiction, short story, classic

Immediately I found myself standing in a spacious place intolerably lighted by long rows of windows, focusing inward the snowy scene without.

At rows of blank-looking counters sat rows of blank-looking girls, with blank, white folders in their blank hands, all blankly folding blank paper.

But Makeovers Always Look Easy on Television  by BRIAN LEARY

Many of the changes to 42opus and listed below are foundation changes meant to increase our usefulness to readers and better our abilities to procure work from only the very best writers.

Year in Review: My Favorite Poems of 2006  by BRIAN LEARY

Of the many, many poems we've published over the course of 2006, the following eight are the pieces that moved me most—the ones that I most wished I had written instead and that I most shared with friends.

A Night of Theater: A Review of Alberto Ríos's The Theater of Night  by D. ANTWAN STEWART

18 January 2007
nonfiction, review, review of poetry

We are revealed in its language and Ríos's "theater of experience," which is unavoidably common to us all. And how fortunate we are for having Ríos as not only our usher but our poet.

Excerpts from Greta  by GINA ABELKOP

15 January 2007

Outside nightingale waited. Wasn't patience

so much as practical. Little feet

like dinosaurs and nightingale was remembering

her own sister: no tongue,

no hands,

just a spread testament.

Motives for Buying (or Loving): According to Sears, Roebuck & Co.  by DANIELLE AQUILINE

23 December 2006
poetry, catalog

for cleanliness to avoid criticism to save

time to save energy for enjoyment to

conserve our possessions for affection…

To My Dear and Loving Husband  by ANNE BRADSTREET

11 February 2007
poetry, classic, love poem, rhyme

If ever two were one, then surely we.

If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee.

If ever wife was happy in a man,

Compare with me, ye women, if you can.

To My Husband  by KAREN CHIEN

28 January 2007
poetry, prose poem

Darling, please do not touch me. Every time you do I throw up and lose my fat belly.

An Ad in the Chicago Defender  by DELANA DAMERON

5 February 2007
poetry, prose poem, ekphrastic

don't need much room. forty acres would have been too much. just need a corner of a corner to rest my eyes between shifts. will not be distracted by women or love or necessity of the loins.


8 February 2007
poetry, love poem, ekphrastic

if the salt-cured ham glazed

with honey is no longer

my sweet sweat on your

tongue and your fingertips

forget journeys along my

forever hips

Heart, we will forget him,  by EMILY DICKINSON

15 February 2007
poetry, classic, love poem, rhyme

Heart, we will forget him,

   You and I, tonight!

You must forget the warmth he gave,

   I will forget the light.

I've got an arrow here;  by EMILY DICKINSON

14 February 2007
poetry, classic, love poem, rhyme

I've got an arrow here;

      Loving the hand that sent it,

I the dart revere.

The Brain—is wider than the Sky—  by EMILY DICKINSON

25 December 2006
poetry, classic, rhyme

The Brain—is wider than the Sky—

For—put them side by side—

The one the other will contain

With ease—and You—beside—

A Valentine to My Wife  by EUGENE FIELD

12 February 2007
poetry, classic, love poem, rhyme

What though these years of ours be fleeting?

What though the years of youth be flown?

I'll mock old Tempus with repeating,

"I love my love and her alone!"


17 December 2006
poetry, editors' select, elegy

Say the black road

is a bleached crest raveling

the one distance

meant for you (all of us).


20 December 2006

Question: should I slip

on my slip and rush this

flight or wait full blushed

for the warning…

Visitations  by MARK JACKLEY

20 January 2007
poetry, elegy

You died in spring.

I go in fall,

not to the grave but

past the hog farm…

No Amount Is Too Small to Save  by AMANDA LAUGHTLAND

19 February 2007

Members of the family, especially

children are more cooperative

about saving pieces of soap

if you paint a coffee can, cut a slot…

Your Eyes, Your Secret Weapon  by AMANDA LAUGHTLAND

21 February 2007

Stop to see your optometrist.

You owe it to yourself

and to your country to have

your eyes examined.

Charred Face of the Gone  by CLAY MATTHEWS

22 January 2007

This the progression of prairie fire follows

the plot structure set to motion by an organism

long ago—first earth, then wind, and fire

followed by the resolution of rain we still

wait for as the dust picks up…

Self-Portrait in a Chewing Gum Wrapper  by CLAY MATTHEWS

25 January 2007

Every time I watch a movie

about human robots I constantly have to say to myself

You are not a cyborg, and sometimes simply

saying this is enough to get me through

the day.

Wanting to Open It and Opening It  by LAURA MCCULLOUGH

23 February 2007

The durian fruit stinks

            like you killed your grandmother

and stuffed her under

            the living room couch…

After a Day of Silence  by MIMI MCDONALD

5 January 2007
poetry, love poem

You are

there, behind that full

moon, in another state

in another hour. If I were

to tell you that my need…


8 January 2007
poetry, elegy

I forgive you as I have forgiven many things,

lyrics for those dolorous blues we played, those women,

America's loneliest state.

The Tuna in Cabo  by SAM PEREIRA

11 December 2006

At least, he thought

It was the rain: coastal showers,

The sand taking it all in,

Some higher power's blotter

For everything unknown.

After You Told Me You Hated Roller Coasters  by JOSH RATHKAMP

5 December 2006
poetry, editors' select

We took turns pointing at all the girls who would scream.

You couldn't watch so you smoked,

occasionally glancing up at this pirate ship.

Our Last Evening, after Launching from the Bottom of the Hoover Dam  by JOSH RATHKAMP

2 December 2006

We play cards to drink

quicker than we would on our own.

The dearler'd say "drop"

and we'd slap the single card,

sweat-stuck against our foreheads…


8 December 2006

A duet on the radio pleads to end

each day in song. If I had the choice,

my song would be quiet,

a little twang,

a trill when the voice hops up.


2 February 2007
poetry, elegy

I'd forgotten how the skull

shows through, towards the end;

how they were right,

those medieval artists…


1 March 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme

My soul lives in my body's house,

      And you have both the house and her—

But sometimes she is less your own

      Than a wild, gay adventurer…

I Am Not Yours  by SARA TEASDALE

13 February 2007
poetry, classic, love poem, rhyme

Oh plunge me deep in love—put out

My senses, leave me deaf and blind,

Swept by the tempest of your love…


2 January 2007
poetry, editors' select

Curious are the ways

holiness is achieved (that freezing

and melting point, that instant

when your perfect attention changes

and unchanges you or the world) and unforeseen

the consequences.

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