Sunday, April 29, 2007


"Keeping Still"
by Jill Chan

It's raining again.
How many storms have crossed here.
The last destroying your house.
It's hard to imagine
living in another.
It was the first house
you were ever really in.
You woke with it,
spoke of it like a secret,
keeping still,
with the wind in the skies
lifting roofs
and the parts of you
that held on to the ground.

Jill Chan was born in Manila, Philippines. She migrated to New Zealand in 1994. Her first book of poetry, The Smell of Oranges ( ), was published by Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop in 2003. Her work has been published in MiPOesias, foam:e, Eclectica, Poetry New Zealand, Takahe, Brief, Trout, Deep South, JAAM and some other zines.

Sunday, April 22, 2007


"This Heart"
by David Smith

Her kisses open holes in the skin
large enough for us to climb in
lighting the torch next to this heart,
every bit of it in every bit of it.

Rotating her piston hips,
she is all bold colors
and appealing design,
the dye molecules of my retinas
vibrating at 700 trillion times per second,
so fast that I can see beyond the color yellow,
the small wire stretched within this heart
exploding like an open window in winter,
every bit of us in every bit of us.

We like to mess around with the neighborhood kids,
changing the dog's name while out for his afternoon walk.
"Aw what a cute puppy. Hey mister, what's his name?"
Often my answer is,
"His name? We call him King of the Jews."
Blank stares meeting a borrowed smile,
Christmas in July.
She never corrects me.
Never sets the kids straight.
Never tells them that the dog's
actual name is Reggie.
She lets this lie hang between us
like a cloud of cigarette smoke
at a bridal shower.
All of our history compressed
into these small moments.

This heart can vibrate fast enough
to levitate large stones.
This heart contains more energy
than is expressed in the known universe.
Cut this heart in half and both halves
will contain the entire heart.
Cut both of those halves in two again
and the resulting pieces
will contain the entire heart,
and so on and so forth.

This heart we share
wrapped in ermine and black leather,
stretched from eye to I,
pulsing with the quiet distemper
of 100 flowers bathing in the rain.

David Smith's latest book, co-authored with Scott Wannberg, is Rocket's Redglare: the Handsome Duke Deal and Kid Mingo Letters. He is also the author of Closer to Jesus. His next book, White Time, will include the entire collection of the Hotel Malaria galleries. In the 1980's, he was publisher and editor of Ouija Madness Press and Ouija Madness Magazine. He is now jazzed to partner with the immortal S.A. Griffin on the outstanding Rose of Sharon Press. The best bartender you will ever know, he can pour a Singapore Sling that will make your mother weep with joy.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


by Amy Cunningham

"Bread and honey;
plums, not yet ripe;
and sage, growing in the earth."

You tell me this the night you return from the business trip.
I wonder how a man so entrenched in making money
could understand the value of a scent.
I smell the airplane smell on you,
the scent of other people on your collar,
and that industrial detergent from the hotel sheets
which always smell like new socks and plastic.
I catch the hint of scotch and cold lemon on your breath
as you kiss away the miles from your mind.
Your kisses mimic the spark and safety of our home life;
your nose searches for a spot beneath my jaw line on my neck;
your hands smell like ink and fresh paper;
you caress my temple, and, for the first time in years,
look directly into my eyes.

I turn away!

You breathe deeply in my brown hair and say,

"Bread and honey;
plums, not yet ripe;
and sage, growing in the earth."

Your suitcases lie in a heap at the foot of the bed
mouths agape, ties lolling out like tongues.

Amy Cunningham was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated with a B.L.A. from Bowling Green State University with emphases in Creative Writing, Philosophy and Political Science in 1989. She is currently working for her Masters: Tom, Bridget, Kelly, Aggie and Dog Biscuit in a tall gray house with a wraparound porch.

Sunday, April 08, 2007


"staccato of the dead"
by Barton Smock

the fog recalled sons lift their lifted arms and knock. sex
continues its silky swim in the eye hole of the coma
fish. dream-wearing shades slip the removed bridge of
a husband good for husbandry.
door, hung, on the dark. night washed lake.


the wading, tar-handed daughters in the father's beaded scope.
a decorated observer, the unmasked
vitiator of a vanished
watching. a mother's conjured house.
a distorted wife's backstroke of eulogy.


the design of monsters under a plain bed.
young men in gowns fall down stairwells,
spend their too long lives squaring blood
tape around pictures never framed. women hold beauty
over balconies, shaking clung hands from curtains. a blacker
mud fills the shoe of children treading water.


the womb's bait. puddle of hunger.
a rope knotted in the shower.
ghosts are not white. in fashionable bone heels, swimming
room to room, she is no accident. the potential sea, land
locked eye of the crocodile. the cloth tied head.


she brings him a cup of dirt. night
mares dry, he scratches at the window under his skin.
the bins in the abandoned studio ripple with trying.
whatever they've raised writes home on the pulled thread
of their palms. fog filled mouths, open.

Barton Smock is 30 years old, has 3 kids, 2 jobs, and 1 wife. He believes in marriage, cold winds, and Ohio.