Issue Twenty-Nine – Winter 2016

Listen. Stories Matter.

By Jeremiah O'Hagan

The older I get, the more surely I understand that stories are all we have. That often the littlest stories are the ones that catch our heads and hearts.

When my son was born, I imagined it would be the big moments I’d cherish — the rolling over, crawling, walking, talking. And I do recall those things, but not as clearly as I remember tiny moments. I’ve realized, see, that he doesn’t need me to

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Everything is OK Now

By William Cass

The first letter to appear in the newspaper was Janice’s own. It ran about a week after the incident with the bear cub in the tree.
~
Sept. 11
Dear Editor:
I am writing to alert citizens in Delaney Springs of an unfortunate circumstance

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Villains get the Red Shoes

By Heather Durham

A spotlight shone on a massive black cauldron as the red-gowned queen lowered a green apple to where I hid inside. I took the green and handed her the red, which she raised toward the audience. Magic!

I tucked to one side as she climbed in next to me, and I awaited my cue. The slow, sinister bow of a cello. Enter the villain.

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Fences

By Wayne Johnston

Something makes me look up.

Here come the cows.

There are eight of them, steers actually. They’re tame, curious, and bored with grass. They’ll mouth the alder leaves for the new taste, and they’re gathering where the tree will fall.

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ENTL, THE BIRL

By Carolyn Light-Bell

If you understand who and what I am, it may bring you closer to believing in your heart that everyone, including you, dances up and down a scale of chromosomes that determine gender preference. On one end is Shirley Temple with ringlets; on the other is Rocky Balboa boxing. In the middle, Prince. I’m a girl with a fierce heart who wants no surgery or hormones to be a man. With all the mishegoss swirling around about who goes in what bathrooms—forget about it.

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Visual Art

By Marcia Soderman

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Intersection

By Sharon Leach

She feels the mattress sag under the weight of him. His movement is deliberately coordinated, meant to not interrupt her slumber. Only, she is awake. She lies perfectly still.

His breath is shaky with the effort of removing his clothes while sitting on the edge of the bed. She hears the sigh of his trousers onto the floor, the dull thud of his belt buckle. In almost 22 years of marriage, this is the lazy way

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Existential Futility

By Larry Smith

Guys like Bernie Fuller who are intellectuals like baseball a lot more than other sports. Bernie says it’s the poet’s game. He says that you can find whole sections of books like the Baseball Encyclopedia full of witty things that baseball people, and not just Yogi, have said. Not so with football or basketball. Not so at all. He says many great writers have written stories about baseball but hardly any about football or basketball.

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If I Tell You What I Have Told No One Else

By Barbara Kristaponis

My first real job when I moved to Manhattan was in a mental hospital. I did television. I was in charge of running the video studio, an insulated box once used for detecting electrical actions in the brain. This box looked like a refrigerator where you would find big hunks of meat, except it was lined in maple veneer and had a faded rose carpet. It was in the third sub-basement of an ivy-covered building on the river.

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Losing My Eyesight

By Scott T. Starbuck

is sad
but comical.

A bench becomes
a sleeping horse,

stranger,

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Fluke

By Joseph Mills

She stood at the edge of the path, watching the field. She tried to stay out of the way of walkers and joggers. She was conscious about that now. She didn’t care what she looked like, but she didn’t want to be in the way.

She still didn’t care about a lot of things that had used to seem important. Apparently she would again one day. That’s what people in the group said. It was hard to believe. Right now, she felt this would be the rest of her life. Numb.

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These Are the Things We Know

By Shaun Turner

Ever since we started the build, we came to know the copper-smelling mud that mounded the edges of the construction site. Khaki-brown and tar sticky, we knew how to get on our knees to scrub it clean.

We knew that six pallets of smooth gray slate weighed just over 24,000 pounds. We knew how to calculate sales tax and shipping. We knew that, after spending six

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A Way to Measure Smell

By Leonie Mikele Fogle

My father smelled of computer paper,
shirt-collar anger when he came home.
He climbed the stairs and I thought he would turn to leave,
but he only put his coat and hat away into the closet.

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In the Clouds

By Mercedes Lawry

In the murmur of midday heat, sky
scratched by splinter clouds, an hour
thin with drowse and daze,
when all might relinquish to the languid,

the boy pushes his blue SWAT truck against
the rocks, pulls stones and throws them

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Elegy

By Carey Taylor

She is the absence of light
at the edge of the door
bruise of sky on the horizon

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Lack of Understanding

By Susan Rae Sampson

I saunter down an unpaved road
among orchards,
just watching birds.

An elderly farmer rolls up,

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Outside alone at night for the first time (Seattle, 1960)

By Stephanie Barbé Hammer

The cousin has gone inside
For some reason. She is my only
Relative who is my age that
I know about and I trust her
Because she knows about grass

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Standing Outside the Captain Whidbey Inn

By Sarah Jones

A Madrona tree, with its peeling bark
and banana-shaped leaves, leans out
over Penn Cove against a pillow of gray sky.

Around the tree’s trunk, a gnat
pumps her white wings again and again

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Ribcage

By Megan Leahy

The ribcage was invented to wrap around soft organs that breathe,
To curve like elephant tusks beneath the skin,
Supported by knotted vertebrae.
The ribcage was invented to be flexible,
To bend with cartilage, to seldom break.

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LIGO Detects Gravitational Waves -September 14, 2015, 5:51am EST

By Kaylie Anne Johnson

1.3 billion years ago,
two black holes kissed for the first time.
Absorbed by each other,
a mass three times our sun
shot out from their bed posts.
Ripples in their fabric reached ours
in a slight blip to the walls of our lasers

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Untitled

By Thomas Fucaloro

List of possible tattoos
that are metaphors
for past/passed
lovers

1. A tornado, a hillside, the sun, paused.
2. Pictures of body parts.
3. Lots of ghosts. Ghosts and …

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The Great Escape

By Donna Isaac

Inky! You intrepid mischievous mollusk!
You slinky, slithering cephalopod!
How you must have missed the open waters,
dreaming of crayfish and crab on sandy sea floors,
of greeny gold waters, of freedom like flying

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