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Vol. 7, No. 4 Contents

Lady with Lapdog  by ANTON CHEKHOV

22 February 2008
fiction, short story, classic, translation

People were telling one another that a newcomer had been seen on the promenade—a lady with a dog. Dmitri Dmitrich Gurov had been a fortnight in Yalta, and was accustomed to its ways, and he, too, had begun to take an interest in fresh arrivals. From his seat in Vernet's outdoor café, he caught sight of a young woman in a toque, passing along the promenade; she was fair and not very tall; after her trotted a white Pomeranian.

Quarters  by AMY L. CLARK

28 February 2008
fiction, short story

Aisha is thirty-one years old and seventeen weeks along. She has brought a copy of Crime and Punishment to the Laundromat with her, but she cannot concentrate on the story, keeps getting lost in the long, unfamiliar names. She sits, watching her clothes spin, the silk arm of her favorite, fading blouse cascading down over a tangle of jeans and underwear. She has just this week had to retire most of her regular pants, which she had long been tugging down to her pelvic bone, for maternity wear. And watching her old clothes in the dryer gives her an overwhelming sense of futility. She thinks she would like to go into labor now. She would like to push the little pink thing out of her body and into the world, even if it were to be born a helpless pound and a half. Moments like these, she thinks it is more likely that the baby could survive in a fluorescent NICU than in her agonized and frustrated body. She feels as if the baby has stretched her, made her skin literally too thin.

How Santa Claus Came To Simpson's Bar  by FRANCIS BRET HARTE

23 December 2007
fiction, short story, classic

It had been raining in the valley of the Sacramento. The North Fork had overflowed its banks and Rattlesnake Creek was impassable. The few boulders that had marked the summer ford at Simpson's Crossing were obliterated by a vast sheet of water stretching to the foothills. The up stage was stopped at Grangers; the last mail had been abandoned in the tules, the rider swimming for his life. "An area," remarked the "Sierra Avalanche," with pensive local pride, "as large as the State of Massachusetts is now under water."

Friends in San Rosario  by O. HENRY

17 December 2007
fiction, short story, classic

The west-bound train stopped at San Rosario on time at 8:20 A.M. A man with a thick black-leather wallet under his arm left the train and walked rapidly up the main street of the town. There were other passengers who also got off at San Rosario, but they either slouched limberly over to the railroad eating-house or the Silver Dollar saloon, or joined the groups of idlers about the station.


10 December 2007
fiction, short story

He held the wheel with his knee and reached behind his seat for another beer. The can was cold but the beer was warm. He swished it in his mouth until it was flat and flavorless. Swallowed, swigged, swallowed, swigged. He was getting there. He barely remembered the cat now. The feel of it under the front, then the back tire, like something already dead but not quite flat enough, and when they'd stopped and turned back, it was still breathing. "It's just a barn cat," she'd said. But she saw the collar just like he did, the heart-shaped tag.

To Build a Fire  by JACK LONDON

22 January 2008
fiction, short story, classic

Day had broken cold and gray, exceedingly cold and gray, when the man turned aside from the main Yukon trail and climbed the high earth-bank, where a dim and little-travelled trail led eastward through the fat spruce timberland. It was a steep bank, and he paused for breath at the top, excusing the act to himself by looking at his watch. It was nine o'clock. There was no sun nor hint of sun, though there was not a cloud in the sky. It was a clear day, and yet there seemed an intangible pall over the face of things, a subtle gloom that made the day dark, and that was due to the absence of sun. This fact did not worry the man. He was used to the lack of sun. It had been days since he had seen the sun, and he knew that a few more days must pass before that cheerful orb, due south, would just peep above the sky-line and dip immediately from view.

My Seven Favorite Stories of '07  by BRIAN LEARY

I set out to make a list of five, but found choosing among the nineteen stories more difficult than I had anticipated. I whittled the list to seven, then, to justify my failure to choose, slipped a cheap play off the year into the title.

Some Favorites from 2007 in Poetry  by BRIAN LEARY

These are ten of my favorite poems from 42opus in 2007…


1 February 2008
poetry, classic

'O Winter! bar thine adamantine doors:

The north is thine; there hast thou built thy dark

Deep-founded habitation. Shake not thy roofs,

Nor bend thy pillars with thine iron car.'

from A Poem That Was Lost  by C. L. BLEDSOE

6 December 2007

If I were to catch fire

for any/some thing, burn my love out bright and hot;

I'd be left with ashes, the taste

of ashtray in my mouth as though I'd loved

a smoker. (The bastard!)

Notes on A Poem That Was Lost  by C. L. BLEDSOE

8 December 2007
poetry, prose poem

181: Wooden hearted and dumb: Clearly he is referencing that terrible translation he loved so much of Valentroika's Russian epic, "Uncle Winter," in which the author melodes that "when my mother's voice grew unheard my heart/became cold as wood/laid in the ground for millennia."

It is well documented that the author obsessed over the untimely sickness of his mother in a manner similar to other pre-debauchist outlawed writers such as E. A. Poe, even going so far as to refer to himself as such.


19 December 2007

The trees planted in

the median

follow me. They

could be a kind of peppertree…

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.  by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

13 February 2008
poetry, classic, sonnet, rhyme

I love thee to the level of everyday's

Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.

A Song for New Year's Eve  by WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT

31 December 2007
poetry, classic, rhyme

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—

      Stay till the good old year,

So long companion of our way,

      Shakes hands, and leaves us here.

            Oh stay, oh stay,

One little hour, and then away.

Gone August  by REBECCA BYRKIT

26 January 2008
poetry, ghazal, rhyme

Gone grazin'. You Boch-drunk. Clink of spoons on sunglasses—

Me, girl gone glisterlight. Whitehot malaise in the grasses

Gone soft aspen slantlight that blisters, then passes—

Gone your kisses, O my Clearing! Wildwooded ways in the grasses…

The Old Year  by JOHN CLARE

5 January 2010
poetry, classic, rhyme

Old papers thrown away,

      Old garments cast aside,

The talk of yesterday,

      Are things identified;

But time once torn away

      No voices can recall:

The eve of New Year's Day

      Left the Old Year lost to all.


21 January 2008
poetry, classic

The Frost performs its secret ministry,

Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry

Came loud—and hark, again! loud as before.

The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,

Have left me to that solitude, which suits

Abstruser musings: save that at my side

My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.

Gacela of Flooding Love  by J. P. DANCING BEAR

20 February 2008

Because your water is discovered by clouds

rising into the rapt blue abyss of sky,

now your body is love, on the rise, a mist.

Gacela of Unforgotten Love  by J. P. DANCING BEAR

18 February 2008

If anyone asks: did you ever love? Say that

a moth was born from leaves and landed

on your tongue, like fingers plucking the harp strings.

And though it was not pronounced

you knew that an angelic form had come

with dusty wings.

One Year ago—jots what?  by EMILY DICKINSON

13 December 2007
poetry, classic

Such Anniversary shall be—

Sometimes—not often—in Eternity—

When farther Parted, than the Common Woe—

Look—feed upon each other's faces—so—

In doubtful meal, if it be possible

Their Banquet's true—

There's a certain slant of light,  by EMILY DICKINSON

20 January 2008
poetry, classic

There's a certain slant of light,

On winter afternoons,

That oppresses, like the weight

Of cathedral tunes.

Heavenly hurt it gives us;


6 February 2008


I shall be brief, but frank,

Terse if not curt, aloof, though unswerving—

What little we had amounted to nothing.


2 February 2008

Then Winter.

Then Spring.

Then came those seasons

That splinter from the seasons.

Then came the ring

That I wore without good reason.


4 February 2008

It's a furnace of the first place, fever of mine.

The mattress can't be trusted. I suture shut my eyelids.

I align my terrors to their predetermined brinks.

But the bed that is my boat, slopes lee side,

Then sinks.

Postcard from a Nude Beach  by RICHARD GARCIA

30 January 2008
poetry, prose poem

The waves, as if they were ashamed, roll up to it tentatively, and just before they reach the shore, they turn back.

Undecided  by RICHARD GARCIA

28 January 2008
poetry, prose poem

On the treadmill, he did not know if he was walking forward or backward. It was the same when he was stopped in traffic and the cars started to move and his car seemed to be drifting backward and he slammed on the breaks.

For Michaela, who can't stand work anymore  by CHRISTIEN GHOLSON

11 February 2008

The only store in walking distance

is the one for the rich. So many aisles; bright

and convenient as Dinner-Nirvana: Tofu

from Iowa, rice from California, cherries

from Chile. Everything fresh-

frozen in plastic. I can feel The Invisible-Hand-

of-the-Market reaching into my pants.


2 December 2007

I would like to openly tell you what I saw

but 1) somewhere along the road I added two letters to my name,

and this makes me slightly unaccountable.

2) I am also known to propose dances that have only one or two movements in sum.


4 December 2007

What if you were three mad sisters

who lived at home with your mother

who hates you? Oh, you are?

Well, then, no wonder you are pregnant

and homeless on the streets of Minneapolis

with your cold glass globe containing the Mysteries.

Three Hours, More or Less  by CLAUDIA K. GRINNELL

21 December 2007

Free to spend the night

In Houston, in Texas, in its odd mystery Texas comes first. Football, women

Adoring wide receivers and tight ends and the average Joe who thirsts after

Both. The quotient, sex or otherwise, is sky-high, like the audience sucking down

Beer or whiskey or cigarettes just to make it past this last day of summer…

How the West was won.  by CHRISTINE KANOWNIK

18 January 2008

Tyra Banks is a cowboy.

Hello, My Name Is  by DAN KAPLAN

14 January 2008

Bill minced your heart in kindergarten. Bill,

litigious prick, missed the bottom step. Bill

the shih tzu–pomeranian mix. Bill

the vermiculturist. Mechanic Bill…

The New Rand McNally World Atlas, C6 210  by DAN KAPLAN

16 January 2008

Like the capital of Tadzhikistan

I long to be a name I neither know

nor can pronounce, a smeared calligraphy

of membrane and breath, an outpost of bone.


16 February 2008
poetry, ghazal

Scallop of the top lip crowned in points, full pout

of the lower lip, teeth even ivories, an aristocratic mouth.

Before alar and DDT and GMO's, she was a red stone

in a cling peach whose stem was an aromatic mouth.

Dear with Extremes of Thirst and Pain  by ADRIAN LURSSEN & SUSAN TICHY

14 December 2007
poetry, collaboration

First eyelids and lips are closed, then open. Now, open eyes appear unseeing. A kind of dreaming.

For thousands of years people have carried their faces this way, one by one, only on their heads.

Under these conditions nothing is harder to control than reason. You babble without speaking,

march into the desert without water. We will die tomorrow, the day after at the latest.


14 February 2008
poetry, classic, rhyme

We might be fifty, we might be five,

So snug, so compact, so wise are we!

Under the kitchen-table leg

My knee is pressing against his knee.

Disclosure  by BRIAN D. MORRISON

24 January 2008

A break is a labor

precise as bonework,

a steady dismantling

of dichotomy: …

Appendix:             in           Snow  by JOSHUA POTEAT

26 December 2007


        stars                     keep


Appendix:           the           Blind (         Specimen   )  by JOSHUA POTEAT

28 December 2007

     the                          floor


                              for         cholera

Mountain Lion Boy Testifies Before the House Subcommittee on the Atrocities of War  by HENRY OSO QUINTERO

9 January 2008

Father Mother

The animals of this land are beautiful and foreign

They run on two legs, carry small square teeth in the front like beaver and wild mules


I so fucking own them

Papa the steel casings pass so quickly through them


15 February 2008
poetry, classic, translation

Yet everything that touches us, me and you,

takes us together like a violin's bow,

which draws one voice out of two separate strings.

Above the Roof  by ROB SCHLEGEL

26 February 2008

In black branches hanging

over the roof, four or five

crab apples, overripe. Even

when no one is looking, walls

exhibit images made by the troubled hands.

Packing List  by ROB SCHLEGEL

24 February 2008

Washed from my hands

a thin film after shelving

jars filled with leeches pond

lilies green stems so when

the time comes to extract

bad blood mixing with the good

I feel nothing…

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