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Issue 7 Winter 2012

Out of Print

Selected Contents

Jan B. Parker: First Camelia
I named yesterday Cold and Brittle and White Like Snow. It was a picture to me, a composition. Winter jasmine had pushed out her yellow petals. They exploded like stars. They fell to the earth. They shot over archways of leafless vine.

Nick Kocz: The Exile Suite
My wife is stealing the baby’s pacifiers. Eighty percent of women have some form of postpartum depression. That is what statistics tell us. Nary a month goes by without hearing about a mother in Houston who drowns her newborns or a woman in Montana who stuffs them into a trash compactor.

J.A. Tyler: The First House
I started by building a house. With an axe I chopped down trees. I cut the limbs from their bodies. I shaved the stick-arms of their children.

Mathias Svalina: My Father Is a Dissappearance
The last time we talked was months ago. I was mowing the lawn, listening to an Aerosmith tape on my Walkman. I saw him cutting a dead branch from the dogwood tree. I ran over to him.

Theodore Worozbyt: Mica
The hunger for hunger lasts longer on the tongue because I dream about it. I refuse to rehearse my dreams. My opinion, my marginalia regarding dreams is that they remain more vivid when I am overfed.

Jesse Cheng: Flight
What happened to the lusty applause he was to command upon the final bow strokes of the famous Romantic concertos? Or the hoorahs and huzzahs as he strode out with violin in hand, the concertmaster tuning the orchestra to the unerring pitch of his concert A?

M. Allen Cunningham: Sight Unseen
What unnerved him most, with the passing weeks, was his increasing certainty of being seen, observed, interpreted as never before. This resulted in a series of uncomfortable realizations.

Kyle Hemmings: The Truth About Onions
She picks the old lover up from the airport. They have much catching up to do, something that can be done without words. But they spend too much time locating themselves in rooms or almost breaking down when they recall who they once were.

Shangrila Willy: Origami
I am not prolific. I cannot / write you forty thousand / words in which the detective / with a quirk finds the body, / is bamboozled, comes to / a grizzly not quite end, smokes  / a cigarette instead, and does it / again in the next hardcover.

Christopher Lee: Lift Your Antenna Like Skinny Fists to Heavenu
His eyes ache. The television has been on for weeks, maybe months. He doesn’t know. He doesn’t care. The longer he keeps them open, the more he sees. The more they twitch, the more they throb and blur colors together, the clearer she becomes.

Heather Kamins: The Brain
When I was ten, my teacher brought a human brain to our classroom. It bobbed in formaldehyde in a white plastic tub, which sat in the corner next to the coat rack.

James Brubaker: How We Did Not Become Extinct
The first children born to the Cloud Generation lived difficult lives. They were raised listening to songs that evoked their parents’ memories instead of their own. They had no memories to evoke because they were born into the world of clouds.

B. Rose Huber: X
A single sheetless mattress on a floor. An afternoon where bodies stick atop another. This day, the fan lacks a drowning feature. His roommate and the dog are downstairs, panting in unison with upstairs breathing.

Kelly Andrews: Quarter in the Jukebox
Philadelphia. Our bathing suits bunched under our thighs. The cats swayed between our legs. We lay side-by-side like sisters, combing each other’s hair before sleep. You climbed on top, and your hair fell between my lips.

Robert Olen Butler: Justine Remembers Her Three Husbands
So my therapist says to me, “If you want to feel better, you need to let go of the anger,” and I say to her, “Sure, okay.”

Laura van den Berg: I Have Been Moved by the Spirit
Three of my foster siblings came to the city that same year. Julia managed a diner, Raymond was unemployed, and Louise was taking night classes for accounting and dating a classmate.

Molly Gaudry: Best. Summer. Ever.
My grandfather always told me not to trust men without hats. He used to play this living room game with me called Giant Steps—two giant steps toward him, three baby steps back, four giant steps forward, six little steps back.

Yarrow Paisley: The Solipcycle
Crammed tight in the loges, in that secret theatre, they ogled me as I stripped these limbs bare. I was beautiful, son. No one had ever seen the flesh that I showed that night.

Ann Ryles: Aftercare
My first choice was to work on the crisis hotline. I wanted to save unborn lives twenty-four/seven in the deepest darkest most godforsaken places of our nation, especially San Francisco.

Angela Rydell: Riding in the Rain Taxi
The rain inside the moving taxi slanted like a woman’s long blonde hair blown in a strong wind. The driver’s face, pruney and dripping, twisted into a frown of determination, his gloved hands clutching at the wheel, windows closed tight to keep out the sun, clearness, dryness.

Davey von Bohlen: In Borrowed Houses: Toledo, Michigan
Once in a while the cars wake me up. / Though the windows are shut / the air blows through the house / till the walls cool down. / We drown in belongings / until we can’t see our shoes.

Genevieve DuBois: Status Vertiginous
There is nothing wrong with your brain, there is nothing wrong with your ears, or so the doctors tell you—you just have a disability, a small handicap, some quirk of your body’s architecture, some slight misalignment, nothing that can’t be lived with—and you smile, and nod, and nod, and smile, and you hate them, if only for their humanity when they are required to be superhuman.

Garrett Ashley: Behind Closed Doors
Today I will skip work and start a project. Tassels and wheels, that sort of thing—the kind of wooden bike you might find at the far end of a flea market between the quick cash and the liquor store.

Jennifer Clark: Apology to the Grayling
I apologize if your new accommodations are a bit tight, but at least it is—a place. I feel your scaly body press against my ribs; your tail flicks in anticipation against my spine; an eye peers out from behind my left kidney.

Sarah Rose Etter: Love Letters to Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin is holding a sledgehammer or another woman or both. His hands are around hard wood silver built to be heavy, a weight we haven’t measured or discussed. He built the sledgehammer out of the parts of other women, sculpted the silver head from the thickness of their skulls, created the handle from the fat of various breasts.

Julia Jackson: The Sharpest Part of Her
My mother had been clean for most of her pregnancy so no one suspected what was to come. True, no family had come while she was in labor, or even after I was born. No father, either. But it was New York, it was 1982, and this was common enough.