Issue Twenty-Five – Winter 2015

Rules of Writing

By Jeremiah O'Hagan

I’m teaching again. Since I last taught five years ago, they’ve taken to calling my subject “language arts” instead of English, which is likely more accurate. English in a U.S. school is not the study of the language, nor is it grammar, literature, writing or linguistics. It’s somehow more and less than any one of these.

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In the Bassinet

By Elya Braden

At Gymboree,
my daughter plays
with a funny girl.
Drunken feet.
Listing head.

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Descriptive Narrative of Family

By Derek Sheffield

Only one student left
sitting among empty chairs,
dark hair spilling down her back
as she mothers her essay.

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In Bed

By H. R. Webster

talking nonsense into the down
you call me your horse girl
because I am big & blond
and simple in my cruelty.

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Film is the Cure

By Ann Bodle Nash

It was nearly 25 years ago he first asked me, over a burger and fries in a local tavern on my lunch break, whether I had ever thought about having a thing with him. Caught off-guard, I reply too honestly, “Yeah but the Valley is way too small,” and I change the topic. As if the question was never on the table. I look away, but the thought registers. I think about my husband.

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Without a Picture

By Stacey Bell

Josh has a really cool poster taped on his ceiling above his bed. It’s an interpretation of what Aristotle looked like with lots of bright colors. Underneath the picture it says, “It is the nature of desire not to be satisfied, and most men live only for the gratification of it.” He has a lot of posters, but this one is the biggest and my favorite. I really get it. And it sums up everything Josh stands for.

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The Man Who Cancelled the Newspaper

By Don Noel

He called The Courier the day after they buried Priscilla. As town librarian for decades, she’d been the one who read it, occasionally calling his attention to local news. His only consistent use of the paper was to clip the crossword they did in bed together each night before turning out the light. He tried a puzzle the night after the funeral, but didn’t complete it.

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Last School Party

By Martijn Peutor

Julie and I are standing at the bar. We’re taking small sips of our bottles of Smirnoff and Julie shouts in my ear, “I want to join a student organization. But I don’t know which one. There are so many.”

“Hard,” I shout back.

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In a Box for Goodwill

By Sharon Goldberg

The bridesmaid’s dress from your best friend Nina’s wedding, three months before your own, baby’s breath blue, strapless, tea length; it swirled when you danced with your him. Nina had pre-wedding jitters. You had none. You thought you’d found the perfect man. So thoughtful. So kind. So attentive. He said you were the love of his life, his jewel. He bought you flowers for no reason at all.

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Brakes

By Greg Taylor

As a human being, living in the world, I know it’s all a game. But what if I don’t know the rules?

This is the question I am asking myself as someone flashes their high beams in my rear-view mirror. The lights are so bright and close I tense for the impact.

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The Cooling

By Lisa C. Taylor

We were having a heat wave, the kind that grabbed you in its jaws and shook you like I saw the neighbor’s dog do once with a rabbit. He’d snuffed it out, poor bunny. Even the clothes on the line seemed limp and perpetually damp. Six o’clock and neither of us felt like firing up the grill. I could barely muster the energy to throw together a salad, open a tin of tuna.

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The Next Dance

By Fran Wolf

Ever since my father died, ever since I pulled the plug and killed him, Monday night had been therapy. My therapists say I have a tendency to denial. Tuesday was movement therapy. Thursday was my Fatherless Daughters’ Support Group. Those nights used to be dance nights. But Monday for the last year and half, I had therapy from 8:00 to 8:45, and then wrote in my journal at Café Caffeine

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Homeowner Georgic

By William Aarnes

The idea seems to be
to go into debt

for a house and yard
you’ll keep, if not productive,

neat and comfortable out of respect

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Finding Faith in a College Town

By William Aarnes

The things one can discover
opening a garage door—

this Sunday morning
it’s that a variety of condoms

is sold as formal wear.

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Cycles

By Jill Cooper

By Jill L. Cooper Here are the sacred ties and hedging promises of young lovers — who don’t know yet, they are pregnant. I wanted to paint a story of this couple of bicycle riders, with their strong backs, pedaling together to the golden maturing coastline, and how these cycling lovers are stopped at a […]

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The Heart Needs No Roof

By Jay Klokker

Because the house where
your dreams became real
had stone walls and no roof
to block its view of the volcano
even now there come nights

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Dirty Water

By Jess Mansour Scherman

At the final turn of winter, I saw a man
snap his car door open at a stop light, press
a fist’s worth of burger wrappers and the squared
plastic from cigarette packs onto the snow-sheened
pavement, snap his car door shut, and drive off.

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When the Help Arrives

By Christina Foskey

Plush slippers call cold feet
aside the rusting medical bed in my room.
Warm wet thighs, burn early morning alarm.
I wait for Sandra’s routine to ensue,
she smells like my birthday

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The Long Way

By John Grey

I go home the long way,
via the muse, the roses,
the curly numbers on the letter boxes.

By the lush green park,
poems come in fours.

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Multiple Choice(s)

By Amanda Laughtland

You can find the Vietnamese cafe
kitty-corner from Swedish Hospital
or get fish and chips or burgers
along the water. You can kiss
a man or a woman, or a man

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One Minnesota Winter

By Cheryl Wilke

I craved the taste of orange-
flavored baby aspirin. In fact,
my mother caught me
standing on top of the toilet
to open the mirrored door

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“Well, you know, we are…”

By Peter Aronson

As she did every morning, Beatrice Steingut stood facing her bathroom mirror, examining the tapestry of creases that criss-crossed virtually every inch of her face. She smiled broadly in a vain effort to stretch away age. The crevices weren’t always there, she knew, but when did they start?

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Visual Art

By Matthew Felix Sun

Ink Drawing Night City 3Colored ink on paper, 6x8.5, 2012

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