Cathryn Hankla ~ Misdirection

      after Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Conjurer”

Useless glass­es perched on his nose,
The thief gazes sky­ward in false sup­pli­ca­tion
As he grabs the dan­gling purse.

The globe win­dow above
His head seems to tilt in a sea­son­al nod
To what’s at stake in this enter­tain­ing scene,

Which is a win­dow into being.
Distracted by the trick,
By the magician’s sleight of hand and all trin­kets

Of this mag­ic –more

Justin Herrmann ~ Medical Condition – McMurdo Station, Antarctica

She watch­es him remove her clothes from hooks, fold them into a suit­case. The tapi­o­ca he brought from the gal­ley, same beige as the plas­tic bowl, same as the paint on the dorm walls, still untouched on the sill of the win­dow she now looks out. Below, pow­dery snow sweeps over vol­canic grit, over tri-wall bins full of food waste, alu­minum cans, glass, things brought then removed from this con­ti­nent.

He –more

Ron Burch ~ The Flies

The flies have invad­ed our coun­try. They move, through the sky, as a mob, bunched togeth­er like plump dark grapes, black buzzing clouds so large they block the sun. Some mass­es are bal­loon size, but more often larg­er, the size of build­ings. They gath­er on win­dows, obscur­ing the day­light, the out­side. Their buzzing’s so loud, pro­longed expo­sure pro­vokes headaches and, for the unfor­tu­nate ones, –more

Tim Suermondt ~ Four Poems

GREATNESS AT TWO IN THE MORNING

Writing a poem in the bath­room
of an excep­tion­al­ly small Paris apart­ment,
so as not to wake my wife who’s sleep­ing
well enough for us both.

A poem of no gen­er­al or par­tic­u­lar
significance—which means it has a great chance
of being a poem of gen­er­al and par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance.

About a man who’s look­ing for his pants
and a woman dressed as a clown faint­ing –more

Gillian Walker ~ Community

Pete and Marg next door called emer­gency ser­vices because the bot­tom of their gar­den has fall­en into the arroyo. “It’s all this heavy rain,” they say, over and over.

The lights and sirens arrive as I fin­ish in the bath­room. I’ve passed the embryo, cleaned away the blood, secured dou­ble night time san­i­tary pads and put on clean clothes.

I’m all shored up.

From my sec­ond floor stu­dio, I see –more

Andrew Nicholls ~ Our Committee

The Committee meets at the usu­al time, five min­utes past the hour, giv­ing every­one a moment for machine-made cof­fee and a cig­a­rette if they want it while the appli­cants wait in a large room with eight chairs (more than need­ed!) and some art out­side our offices.   They have the same cof­fee we have and some­times bis­cuits.

Today’s first sto­ry under appeal was print­ed fif­teen years ago but the writer –more

Pam Uschuk ~ Poems

SOLAR ECLIPSE IN THE LAND OF SANDSTONE HOODOOS
AND CRANES

Between hoodoos and the ghosts of whoop­ing cranes,
day dies too soon. Secure in hogans, Dineh sing
against the sor­row of light’s van­ish­ing.

The white wolf flops under a rab­bit bush, moans
at the king­bird fly­ing low to catch gnats and blow flies.
Long shad­ows take us in their hol­low mouths.

We lis­ten to sky’s intel­li­gence, wait for the shift
–more

Nathan Dragon ~ What to Leave Behind

Sun came in through one half of a win­dow—the oth­er half was cov­ered by a wardrobe that he used as a pantry.

       Light through the uncov­ered half like a two by four.

       The wardrobe–he wasn’t able to get it upstairs and the wardrobe had turned out to be func­tion­al for him any­way. He’d told peo­ple this, the cou­ple –more

Stephen Delaney ~ How to Tell a Word

When the old­er boys lob it, jeer it in the hall­way between classes—voices that say “I’m jok­ing” … “We get it” … “I’m untouch­able” …

When you type it and your dumb old Mac responds: a red under­score.

When, on the soc­cer field, Chad’s not using it when Scott’s talk­ing back, he’s spout­ing oth­er words, flaunt­ing an impres­sive store, his face pink, his shirt soaked, until –more

Andy Plattner ~ Selection

Julia needs a few things. It’s a Sunday morn­ing and she’s been up for a few hours. Sugar, baguette, Chapstick. Her hus­band Bobby, who is clos­er to her father’s age than her own, sits in the liv­ing room, watch­ing polit­i­cal talk shows. He’s already said to the TV, “This guy’s nev­er told the truth in his whole life.” Then, “Oh, my god, I knew this was going to hap­pen.” They’ve been –more

Fiona Foster ~ Most Don’t, Then Some Do

The source of the accu­sa­tion was a stu­dent who claimed the man had stolen her ideas for his last, most suc­cess­ful nov­el, stole them right out of her com­put­er, hack­ing in, she said, even after she bought a new com­put­er, care­ful­ly pro­tect­ed it, did not con­nect it to the inter­net, changed her name. Still he bore in and stole, wip­ing her words, leav­ing oth­ers in their place, vio­lent images, cod­ed threats –more

Chelsea Voulgares ~ Hotbox

The tough girls stand in the bath­room, apply­ing Lee press-on nails. Simone’s their leader, and she leans against the grey cin­der block and hot­box­es a slim men­thol cig­a­rette. Her bangs fan up toward the ceil­ing, stiff and shin­ing with extra-hold hair­spray. They are epic. I shrink into my stall and hide behind the scent of glue and smoke and the iron of the trash bin where we throw our used pads. –more

Jeff Friedman ~ Bombs

Months ago, the bombs arrived in for­ma­tion, hov­er­ing like blimps. At first, we thought they were par­tic­i­pat­ing in a mil­i­tary exer­cise, that they would be leav­ing soon, but they remained in place, silent except for a bare­ly audi­ble buzzing that dis­rupt­ed our cell­phone sig­nals and our cable recep­tion. “You’re block­ing our sun,” we shout­ed at the bombs. “Our gar­dens are dying,” but there –more

Peter Leight ~ Four Poems

Reciprocal

We stay in the same room togeth­er, Vivien and I, even though the oth­er rooms are emp­ty.  I sit at the table, and she sits across from me, we change places when we feel like it—we don’t need to turn on the lights in order to see each oth­er.  Sometimes I agree, oth­er times Vivien does.  If one of us turns away the oth­er has already turned away.  When one of us drops some­thing one –more

John Mancini ~ No Future in Oysters

My father was an oys­ter­man just like his father before him—and just like I would have become had things not turned out the way they did. By the end of the six­ties, the Bay was in poor shape, and the men who worked the water and drank at the bars at the mari­na could see the writ­ing was on the wall. Action groups were start­ing to form around the idea of “sav­ing” the Bay—whatever that meant—and –more