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Vol. 7, No. 3 Contents

The Apparition of Mrs. Veal  by DANIEL DEFOE

Now you must know Mrs. Veal was a maiden gentlewoman of about thirty years of age, and for some years past had been troubled with fits, which were perceived coming on her by her going off from her discourse very abruptly to some impertinence. She was maintained by an only brother, and kept his house in Dover. She was a very pious woman, and her brother a very sober man to all appearance; but now he does all he can to null and quash the story.

A Dinner at Poplar Walk  by CHARLES DICKENS

22 September 2007
fiction, short story, classic

Mr. Augustus Minns was a bachelor, of about forty as he said—of about eight-and-forty as his friends said. He was always exceedingly clean, precise, and tidy; perhaps somewhat priggish, and the most retiring man in the world. He usually wore a brown frock-coat without a wrinkle, light inexplicables without a spot, a neat neckerchief with a remarkably neat tie, and boots without a fault; moreover, he always carried a brown silk umbrella with an ivory handle.

The Mysterious Bride  by JAMES HOGG

A great number of people nowadays are beginning broadly to insinuate that there are no such things as ghosts, or spiritual beings visible to mortal sight. Even Sir Walter Scott is turned renegade, and, with his stories made up of half-and-half, like Nathaniel Gow's toddy, is trying to throw cold water on the most certain, though most impalpable, phenomena of human nature. The bodies are daft. Heaven mend their wits! Before they had ventured to assert such things, I wish they had been where I have often been; or, in particular, where the Laird of Birkendelly was on St. Lawrence's Eve, in the year 1777, and sundry times subsequent to that.

Into Her Mess  by LANIA KNIGHT

They were unlikely friends. Toni didn't settle for rough around the edges. She went for jagged. She was a junior and had friends that would never waste their time with someone like Theo, a sophomore, nondescript loner-jock type who always did his homework on time and ate Sunday dinner with Mom and Dad. Toni's friends wore black clothes and eyeliner and chains. Like them, Toni's take on life was dark, and he wasn't sure why she liked him enough to put up with his middle-class, white-washed way of seeing the world. Except that he was gay. Maybe that qualified him weird enough to be her friend.

We Were Almost Superstars  by SARA KAYE LARSON

28 September 2007
fiction, unpublished writers

No one knew who was coming to train us. I had a strange buzzing in my limbs so I had to keep moving around. At the time I didn't know the difference between nerves and excitement. My stomach was either in knots or it wasn't. I was either playing basketball or I was thinking about it. I was either waiting for Jenny or she was there.

Plunge Bath  by MONICA PACHECO

I sprinted towards the doors, without hesitation; Ian and Kate close behind me, pushing and shoving—propelling me forward. Once at the door, I crept in slowly, excited and relieved to feel the warm, humid air—mingled with the thick smell of chlorine. On the opposite end of the Olympic size pool, was our school motto, painted in large, sweeping, chirographic strokes: Scientia Auget Vires (Knowledge Increases Strength).

"Is anyone else in the building today?" I wondered aloud, suddenly nervous.


12 November 2007
fiction, flash fiction, epistolary

Sir, I remain faithful that you will still grant this request to charge. My men and I are still waiting for the enemy's attack on this promontory in Batangas, but it seems they, too, have lost their strength. Every night, we keep watch over that part of Manila, Cavite, and Laguna that is engulfed in flames. We know, as the fire gets closer, your arrival also nears.


10 October 2007
fiction, short story, editors' select

Lisa followed Mitchie through row after row of listing tin shacks. Puff-bellied children tugged at her hands and clothes. They stroked her white skin and made darting swipes at her yellow hair. They giggled and covered their broken teeth with dirty fingers. She emptied her pockets into their hands. She undid the clasp on her thin silver chain and dropped it in a boy's open hand. He ran off shouting, waving the necklace like a flag.

Mr. Cygnus and Miss Lemon  by JANICE D. SODERLING

27 November 2007
fiction, short story

Miss Lemon, as she was known in the classroom, at the age of thirty-nine had the unfortunate experience of overhearing a whispered conversation between two of her sixth-grade boys, insolent, dirty-necked devils that they were, one with pustular spots emphasizing a nose grown too large for its face and the other with astounded eyes. She distinctly heard the taller one say to the other, "She has a Coke bottle stuck up inside her. You ever notice the funny way she stands holding on to the back of her chair."


When Kev came home from walking Ruffo, the Shar-Pei, he noticed the sofa and easy chair were gone.

"I'm having them reupholstered," Tiffany told him.

The Oriental carpet was also missing. "Being cleaned," she said.

Editor's Note: Previously Unpublished Writers Feature  by BRIAN LEARY

The writers included in this month may not have yet been published elsewhere but their writing shows the same promise as any of the other writers we publish. The same attention to craft, to character. To line, and to voice. But I also found in these works a sincerity, an earnestness even, that extended through the brasher, wilder styles of chaotic energy just as into the more conservative voices. This sincerity seemed to me proof that these poems and stories were not so much created to be poems and stories but to be vehicles for emotion and meaning.

Hard Work Facilitates  by JANE ASHLEY

17 November 2007
poetry, prose poem

Hard work facilitates sexual identification. Hardly against false epiphanies. I'll be solid ground; you be top of the world. I'll be down to earth; you be rising above. You be rising up.

In This Episode of Angels  by JANE ASHLEY

19 November 2007
poetry, prose poem

In this episode of angels, a mortal couple strolls, hand in hand, down a hall, around a corner on a cruise ship when a door shuts, a gas leaks, and a frantic couple is sealed in a tunnel, in a vessel…

The Reality of Your Spine  by JANE ASHLEY

15 November 2007
poetry, prose poem

The reality of your spine will not render response an anthem. The more one depicts, the greater lack is felt. We begin at the base and set out on a skyward tracking stroke.


13 October 2007

What you have been taking for words

are just chattering and ruffling and squawks.

It doesn't mean I don't love you.

Aunt Sophie Had a Stroke When I Was Eight  by STEVEN BREYAK

30 October 2007

Though her eyes had kept like marbles,

her tongue was a broken See 'n Say:

people and places but never a story…

Pauline: A Fragment of a Confession  by ROBERT BROWNING

27 September 2007
poetry, classic

Pauline, mine own, bend o'er me—thy soft breast

Shall pant to mine—bend o'er me—thy sweet eyes,

And loosened hair, and breathing lips, arms

Drawing me to thee—these build up a screen

To shut me in with thee, and from all fear,

So that I might unlock the sleepless brood

Of fancies from my soul…

Monody on the Death of Chatterton  by SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE

11 September 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme

Now prompts the Muse poetic lays,

And high my bosom beats with love of Praise!

But, Chatterton! methinks I hear thy name,

For cold my Fancy grows, and dead each Hope of Fame.


4 September 2007
poetry, unpublished writers

Maps are never skin. I know

that you're only a guide but

I prefer to pretend otherwise.


2 September 2007
poetry, unpublished writers

Here, a closeness is lost in our morning rituals.

Some type of forgetfulness concerning

the risks we take, the casual violence inherent

to the most mundane of acts. That's what she liked,

I think. The rough slide of the blade.

stage one  by JAMISON T. CRABTREE

6 September 2007
poetry, unpublished writers

some women lose more than me,

the uterus, the ovaries, the fallopian tubes, it's good

he says that it was caught early enough. he speaks

with the ease that implies that the body is nothing

more complex than the limbless, trapdoored models

that decorate biology classrooms…

Not here, not dead.  by NIK DE DOMINIC

15 September 2007
poetry, unpublished writers

the nerves keep 'em shaking, and so

if you take a shovel and split the body, bi-

furcate him, trifurcate him, his little teeth still spit…

Could Spring Love Be Looking for You?  by ERICA MIRIAM FABRI

21 November 2007

That wasn't love looking for me, this was:

I saw him, gray-colored and hunch-backed, lurking behind

the garbage dump with binoculars, thumping toward me like a tuba—

Anatomy of Change  by STACIA M. FLEEGAL

17 October 2007
poetry, ghazal

First, dependence is our only enterprise.

The dirt-nuzzle. Sunlight's rough tongue-lick of the body.

First, change happens only to the sky.

Lost in up-gaze, we grow down. How cryptic of the body.

Bad Mood  by PAUL GUEST

2 November 2007

Bad mood and bad dog and bad luck like

my broken neck or heart or head

playing out so much bad weather

like kinked yarn unraveled by a bad

black cat…

Love Poem on a Monday Morning with Mock Complaints, Unreasonable Wishes, Your Name and the Earth for Good Measure  by PAUL GUEST

4 November 2007
poetry, editors' select

I'll complain of my bones,

I think it's safe to say

and I'll worry the miles

we never drive. I'll say your name

when I shouldn't

to every door barred before us

as if you're known in Belize…

On Their Cell Phones: a Ghazal  by DANIEL HALES

23 November 2007
poetry, ghazal

This one goes out to all the wedding guests

who got sloshed on free booze then pissed on their cell phones.

Land-lines are for chumps who don't mind getting tapped;

pimps, cons, and dealers subsist on their cell phones.

Employment (II)  by GEORGE HERBERT

1 December 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme

Man is no star, but a quick coal

                  Of mortal fire;

Who blows it not, nor doth control

                  A faint desire,

Lets his own ashes choke his soul.


19 October 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme

I made a posie, while the day ran by:

Here will I smell my remnant out, and tie

            My life within this band.

But time did becken to the flowers, and they

By noon most cunningly did steal away,

            And wither'd in my hand.


20 October 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme

Love bade me welcome: yet my soul drew back…


30 November 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme

      When God at first made Man,

      Having a glass of blessings standing by—

Let us (said He) pour on him all we can;

Let the world's riches, which dispersād lie,

      Contract into a span.


11 November 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme

Love built a stately house, where Fortune came,

And spinning fancies, she was heard to say

That her fine cobwebs did support the frame,

Whereas they were supported by the same;

But Wisdom quickly swept them all away.

To Solitude  by JOHN KEATS

21 September 2007
poetry, classic, sonnet, rhyme

O solitude! If I must with thee dwell,

   Let it not be among the jumbled heap

   Of murky buildings;—climb with me the steep,

Nature's Observatory

Under the Oak  by D. H. LAWRENCE

1 November 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme

You, if you were sensible,

When I tell you the stars flash signals, each one dreadful,

You would not turn and answer me

"The night is wonderful."

Also  by JIMMY LO

4 October 2007

a man

wearing a blue cap

working his bicycle…

It Ends  by JIMMY LO

6 October 2007

Actor and carwash and actor

and carwash and actor together

strip down.

It had stuff in its mouth  by JIMMY LO

2 October 2007

I thought the moose had died

    in the clearing

             where I had stopped

for a tiny breath…

First Song of the Child Soldiers  by ADRIAN LURSSEN

23 October 2007

Here lies a bicycle. Here lies

A shoe. Here sand or ash or

Fingertips and from your Mama

Comes a tune; sound like water…

Fourth Song of the Child Soldiers  by ADRIAN LURSSEN

25 October 2007
poetry, editors' select

Case of ditto for eating meat.

Copper rings for arms and

Above the knee. Arm rings

Made from Elephant's teeth.

Ditto ditto for eating meat.

One Season Arrives  by KAREN NEUBERG

15 October 2007

Gradually, one season arrives

that marks her time

to leave. As simple as that.

I press my hands against an invisible wall.

The Nine Little Goblins  by JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY

27 October 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme, light verse

They all climbed up on a high board fence—

Nine little Goblins, with green-glass eyes—

Nine little Goblins that had no sense,

And couldn't tell coppers from cold mince pies;

And they all climbed up on the fence, and sat—

And I asked them what they were staring at.

After Your Colony Collapses  by MELISSA SEVERIN

21 October 2007
poetry, ghazal

Auguries interpreted incorrectly caused a fever.

Dry heat leathers skin, embeds bread in bones that know there's more.

Gift the thunderegg, teethe on junipers, drive to the white dove.

One one-thousand, two…, lightning and strike unwed—wait there's more.


12 September 2007
poetry, unpublished writers

When door of death

yawns, dress me pink.



Paint me six

feet with stilettos…

Luck of the Draw  by BRANDY WHITLOCK

6 November 2007
poetry, prose poem

You're ripped and he's a little lit and on a whim you've crossed two states to get hitched. Right away it's clear the justice of the peace doesn't like the story here, and before he'll tie the knot, he says, he's got to ask about your breeding. What people you're from. What they might have to say about all this.


8 November 2007
poetry, prose poem

The bondsman wouldn't touch him, and when they bring him up, shuffling and handcuffed, you almost don't recognize your man. He looks beat. Meek. Maybe make-believe, like something's just gone off inside him. You're in the court of common pleas, but it feels to you like a lot of sermonizing, all mystical and official, all ritual, all well-oiled wood.

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