Please Note

For the summer months, beginning at midnight tonight (CST) we won’t accept submissions over 500 words. Manuscripts with a greater word count will be discarded. Why? We don’t know. Something. We anticipate further review of the magazine’s format and content in the months to come.  Many thanks for your patience and interest.

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Pui Ying Wong ~ Three Poems

SCULPTURE COURTYARD

The sun came out and dried
the grass. I sat under a tree,
eat­ing an apple. “Time to be healed”
the poet wrote. Stillness around me.
Language of met­al and clay,
mal­leable as mem­o­ry.
Cities were far.
Not much there I remem­bered.
September was only hint­ed at
by a few falling leaves.
Still, I didn’t know about silence.
–more

Meg Tuite ~ There’s No Tomorrow the Same As Yesterday

Mothers and fathers lean in door­ways to keep any­one from for­get­ting them. What hap­pens when a per­son­al­i­ty can’t find its way back? Let’s say I promise to look for myself in the con­cerned or dep­re­cat­ing glances of oth­ers. Dread fil­ters through the clipped words lost in dwin­dling lung space. A whirlpool of defi­ant air is rav­en­ous and ter­ror­izes the mind which wears the fab­ric of the intestines –more

Gary Percesepe ~ Another Crisis

Lester was lament­ing the state of things we’d got­ten our­selves into. “We’ve missed too many boats.” I could see his brain work­ing over­time in there, like his skull was full of pant­i­ng egrets. He wor­ried about any­thing, like the recent hole in Canada. This was how life had become. “You know some­thing,” Lester said, “I don’t care,” mov­ing his lips like the wings of a small but­ter­fly. –more

Katrina Denza ~ In These Dark Woods

The woman has walked this path cir­cling the reser­voir many times. She stays in a sim­ple but stur­dy cab­in near the base of the moun­tain when she’s up from the city. Today feels like autumn, and when she pulled into the park­ing lot off the high­way, there were only two oth­er cars: a green sedan and a white truck. To get to the head of the path, she had to hike uphill for a mile and a half. The dirt –more

Heather Sager ~ The Cool and the Lonely

I am writ­ing about a man. When I check in on him, he is stand­ing under an old-timey sign that reads LIQUOR. I won­der if he should wear his hair long, and then sud­den­ly he does. He wears a suit and has a dim­pled cheek.

He goes to the desert and strums his gui­tar among the cac­ti. The Joshua trees uproot them­selves, march over to him, and cir­cle him in a fun­ny walk. Stars whiz through the night. He –more

Michael Credico ~ Cataclysm

I am in a state of dis­ap­pear­ance, back inside Ohio. I drove all night. The car stalled before I could ram it through the perime­ter fence. The Great Lakes have been cor­doned off. The last of the world’s drink­able water. I can­not see it through the dark, but I can smell it: fishgut, bleach, and exhaust. I have hon­ey­comb welts from press­ing against the perime­ter fence, a bruise on my arm swirling –more

Sheldon Lee Compton ~ Almost Alone in Dark Valleys

The Mark IV sits behind and just to the right of the Lodge Pin Hotel. I’m in the park­ing lot between the two, sway­ing a step to the right and then a step to the left. It’s nice the way alcohol’s been work­ing on me faster since I went back to drink­ing a few weeks ago. I used to buy a thir­ty pack of beer a day. Within a month, my tongue went yel­low and had a lay­er of yeast buildup about a half –more

Claire Guyton ~ SAT Question: The Moon

Four friends and co-work­ers, Jenny, Elissa, Mira, and Fran, are sup­posed to attend an impor­tant con­fer­ence, which takes place in a town rough­ly a three-hour dri­ving dis­tance from where they live. To save on gas mon­ey, they nat­u­ral­ly decide to ride togeth­er. The route they must take is made up pri­mar­i­ly of one long stretch of high­way. At 5:00 AM, they pile into an old, mus­tard-col­ored sta­tion wag­on –more

Lily Wang ~ Fields

1.

Eddie sat down first. He had his legs straight out and his elbows down. He low­ered the rest of his body and felt the mois­ture from the grass through the back of his shirt. A box of cig­a­rettes was passed around. I didn’t take one. Voices approached and we couldn’t tell who it was until they reached the atmos­phere of light our col­lect­ed phone screens pro­duced. We opened our cir­cle for the new­com­ers –more

Billy Petersen ~ Sparks

A young father returns from the yard. He has plant­ed two new pep­per bush­es, to replace the ones wast­ed by flood­wa­ters. His spade unearthed a bone, a dirty thing that resem­bled a knuck­le. With his liv­ing bones, he han­dles the tiny exhuma­tion, inspects it, won­ders briefly about it, throws it in the trash. He mus­es, pri­vate­ly, about his own jawbone—where will it be after he can no longer say, this –more

Laurie Kaiser ~ Tulips

I yearn for a scrap of good news
Like the city longs for tulips
To final­ly raise their mag­nif­i­cent faces to the sun,
Shining and twirling like beau­ty queens

With blind­ing, con­ceit­ed smiles.
They know how much we need them.
They can see the detri­tus clut­ter­ing
Our city side­walks and our lives.

They know March teas­es us
With its cru­el, whip­ping winds
While we eager­ly wait for tulips to bloom.
–more

Gerald Fleming ~ Five Prose Poems

The Bastard and the Bishop

Most of the city is underground—that’s how cold it is here, great gal­leries, com­plex, rein­forced earth­en walls, apart­ments tiered four lev­els down, some­times five—the under­ground riv­er bisect­ing the city, lit blue or yel­low or green to denote neigh­bor­hoods, help drunk­en pas­sen­gers fer­ry­ing the riv­er find their way home. The build­ings that do rise from the sur­face –more

Lucinda Kempe ~ Happy at Last

We shared DNA on a veg­etable pork roll in the Metropolitan muse­um café. I washed it down with two Prelief. He inquired what was up with the pills. I didn’t both­er to explain; he doesn’t have empa­thy for the sick. I’d seen a vio­let bump toe in a dis­play case of mum­mies. It seemed odd and hap­pen­stance. I imag­ined fan­ci­ful stories—perhaps the curate had for­got­ten it in his rush. Perhaps he –more

Glen Pourciau ~ Sofa

Tired from shop­ping at the mall, my purse get­ting heavy, I took a rest on a new sofa near the up esca­la­tor.  A woman engaged with her smart­phone sat at the oth­er end, speak­ing loud enough that I couldn’t ignore her side of the con­ver­sa­tion.  She and her hus­band had been tak­en to din­ner by a man who’d spent the evening ask­ing about them but say­ing lit­tle about him­self.  They had “an inkling” –more