For An Evening

the window is open

to the sound

of the water



the light

from the waning


speaks softly

to the corner table


you left

a glass by

the kitchen sink

pale pink tracing

the line

where your lips

had been


by A.M. Clarke


Ken Haas


A woman in Frankfurt whisked me

off Taunusstrasse when I was eighteen,

vowing that if I bought her a drink,

we could go directly to her room upstairs

and “do everything.”


Though I knew little then of the expanse

being offered, what crisscrossed

the hitherto lofted mind were the likes

of bodice and orifice, syrup and stirrup,

cold cuts, no buts and eyes shut,

sauerkraut and thereabout,

tether, feather and fur.


So, after a shot each of Jägermeister,

when she asked did I want another,

I assured her that no, no, I was quite ready

to retire to her fine apartment

and do everything.


To which she replied,

as if we had no understanding at all,

that just one more beverage

would put her in the perfect mood.


In due course, I bought her Liebfraumilch

and Riesling; Schnapps; Sekt and Apfelwein;

Löwenbräu and Doppelbock;

Kirsch; Bellerhof and Bärenfang;

coffee and tea; soda-water with lime.

I kept paying even after it was clear

I would run out of deutsch marks long before

glimpsing even the mirage of an areola.

Kept paying, giddily at first,

then the way Vegas junketers do,

though in the end it was hard not to think

of my great aunts and uncles

behind all that barbed wire, how they

kept working and praying.

I had come here in particular

to ask big questions of history,

make inquiries of guilt and forgiveness.

Yet as I stumbled from Bar Karl-Heinz

into the dusk of a world still combing

its anger and shame, I saw that

even though everything

had stepmother eyes and woodcutter hands,

hair the color of Eva Braun’s before the bleach,

I wanted it,

wanted it fondling the buttons of a blouse

rummaged from a corpse, wanted it in a room

with lampshades and ashtrays, wanted it

drinking cut booze while doubling mine,

wanted it just for a moment,

but wanted it all.



Edith Did

During Geraldine Ferraro’s run for vice president

as a congresswoman from Queens in 1984,

one burly heckler on the campaign trail questioned

how Archie Bunker had ever elected her,

to which she replied, “He didn’t; Edith did.”

Which happened also to be my mother’s name,

and when Edith Baines took sidestage

in the top sitcom of the seventies, Edith Lang

sat right beside her, making it easy for us

to notice what they didn’t do: object or judge

or burst balloons, say this is what I want

or say no to their outrageous men,

hide the racing form from their fathers,

or miss Days of our Lives. Instead

they wore their brassieres, practiced being

unembarrassed, learned to type, played canasta,

and boiled the parts of meat that could be eaten

no other way. And they understood.

The black neighbors, the lesbian cousin,

their hairsprayed heads would not be pictured

on the book jacket for The Greatest Generation.

Their superpower was not invisibility,

but optimism; Fred and Ginger twirling in air,

that cigarette ash on top of the scrambled eggs

always pretending to be a cherry.

Long before all of which, the sailor my mother

had met in an ice cream parlor prewar

came back dirty, darkened, craving a son.

And although the odds clearly favored delivery of

another just like him—man with two separate hearts,

one to love her and one to deny her—

when he insisted she don his favorite nightgown

(the chiffon of lace yoke and floral applique),

with one dry eye and a cauldron of hope,

Edith did.


by Ken Haas


Ken’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Amarillo Bay, Alabama Literary Review, Caesura, The Cape Rock, The Coachella Review, Crack The Spine, Existere, Forge, Freshwater, Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Healing Muse, Helix, Lullwater Review, Moon City Review, Natural Bridge, Pennsylvania English, Pisgah Review, Quiddity, Red Wheelbarrow, Rougarou, Salt Hill Journal, Sanskrit, Schuylkill Valley Journal Of The Arts, Soundings East, Spoon River Poetry Review, Squaw Valley Review, Cottonwood, Stickman Review, Studio One, Tattoo Highway, Whistling Shade, and Wild Violet. His poetry has been anthologized in The Place That Inhabits Us (Sixteen Rivers Press, 2010) and the Marin Poetry Center Anthology (2012, 2013). Ken has participated in the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, where he studied with Bob Hass, Brenda Hillman, Dean Young, Lucille Clifton, and C.D. Wright, as well as numerous other workshops led by Sharon Olds, Dorianne Laux, Joe Millar, Ellen Bass, and Richard Jones.

Glen Armstrong

The Bedside Book of Antique Maps


We all fray and tear a bit,

our bodies more

and more like maps


with worn edges,


that crazy serpent that threatened

the world,

now a sketch


threatened by the margin’s

inward drift,


that erosion,

that whole world pushing back

into us.


We now know that eating lemon pie

with a sadist


was a mistake.


Each line we crossed seemed part

of some great voyage

or awakening


or initiation.

We were kids,

for Christ’s sake.


We assumed all hurt

was academic,


a break in the routine and open

for discussion.


How yellow are my teeth?


How monstrous can I get

before you’ll stop

loving me?



A Brief History of Philosophy


The rain comes down. The neon sign outside blinks its otherworldly “VACANCY.” No one notices the snake nest underneath the sign where the hiss of gas through the fabricated glass tube is both a voice of reason and a mistake. It happens this way in any small town where intellectuals meet in secret to compare notes. The rain continues. In the motel’s difficult mirrors, philosophers cut themselves shaving.



She Lives in a Terrible Blue Never


knowing that you and I are taking

a break to smoke and make


tuna salad for lunch.

There is a new juniper branch


therapy. A new ape.

A million new ways


for the world to shame a voice-

over actress into taking


a bigger role.


by Glen Armstrong


Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has a new chapbook titled Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) and two more scheduled for 2015: In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.

Daniel Giovinazzo

Find Me



Find me.

Find me a place.

To call home.


No one.

No one

likes to be alone.


Find me.

Find me a place.

Where I can see.


Offer me.

Offer me some space

where I can be me.


Give me.

Give me a choice.


Wake me.

Wake me up.

Wake me up tomorrow when the sun is shining.


Wake me.


when the birds are singing.


i am.

It’s okay.

To be.

Or not.



Nobody’s fool.

Love you.



The big.


Am.  Picture this.

Picture me.

Picture us.

Can’t you.


Wonderful.  Stream.



This is.

This is the end.

This is not the end

at all.

I might fall.

Curtain call.



Wake me.

Wake me tomorrow; when the story is over.

Wake me.

Tomorrow; when the storm has passed.

Wake me

when the sun is shining.


Find me.

Find me a place to call home…




Another Long Winter


A cold time and space,

a dark scene and place,

and dim city lights,

dirty snow and dog fights.


Another long winter

has gone by with the wind.

Another long winter

has gone by with the wind.


Stagnation, cold-blooded—

internally regulated,

go down the dusky road

in the dark about to goad.


Another long winter

has gone by with the wind.

Another long winter

has gone by.


by Daniel Giovinazzo


Daniel Giovinazzo is a graduate of Hartwick College. In addition he received an MFA from Lesley University in Creative Writing. A house-painter by trade, he has worked as a landscaper, mason-tender, line-cook, greenhouse keeper, and public educator. He has written three unpublished books. His work is the culmination of nearly thirteen years of staying up late and getting up early…



Summer after chlorine saturated summer

we pretended we were cholitas,


twelve year old lambs in disguise.


I wore swap-meet Adidas breakaways over unshaved

legs and blue gray Venice Dolphin’s swimsuit.


Seventeen, our lieutenant, tiptoed lightly,

a damp towel tightly wrapped around her curves,


sang Mariah Carey’s Fantasy.

She’s Mary’s baby, her adopted baby.


Seventeen, thick with double D breasts, a hot

wanton waist and straight hair I secretly longed for.


I whisper to her – hard candy.


At fifteen she’d played with dirty dice, chupando

sandia lollipops; tamarindo con chile,


I swam laps in the pool, her voice carried;

high and sweet melting handlebars off cholito


low-rider bikes, swollen sloppy lips, saccharine

kisses, a rub down of adolescent stiffies.


She never played water polo with us.

Practicing her synchro routines, a sexy under water flamingo,


she danced for a boy I liked. I watched as he bit

her right shoulder, a small burn mark on my lips.


At night I wore flannel pajamas to her sleepover party.

She wore nothing and played digits with her boyfriend.


I reached for my inhaler.


Years later I held her hand, too much like my own

small and soft,

we buried her mother. Her father too.


She calls me on my birthday.

I love her. She’s tattooed, tired and beautiful.


Real hard candy.

Her belly was full that night.

Drops of honey dew spilled out

dimples and sparkle eyes.

She smiled when she cooed, sweet baby lamb.


Mother. Seventeen.


by A. R. Castellanos


Born and raised in Los Angeles, A. R. Castellanos writes poetry, fiction and memoir that draw upon her vibrant and tenacious ancestral heritage in Guatemala and California. Her conjured worlds encompass feral spirits, otherworldly legends, and the disconcerting realities of domestic workers in Hollywood celebrity homes.

Johanna Lane

To the Man Who Was to Be My Gardening Companion for Fifty Years

You used to love that I see the fierce beauty in a little chaos. I first cleared that web of woodiness cautiously. I pruned instead of hacked the curious entanglement of Greenbrier and Wisteria. The roots seemed to reach as deep as our own. Coiled arms weaved and roamed within a contained jungle; unaware of their confusion. Wherefrom were the clustered blooms and the source of those thorns? I trimmed the entwined vines and branches to create a negative space. The lofty window then was in view.

A too-early spring bestowed a lavender waterfall. You should have seen it. The Wisteria’s light-green leaves were infrequent, and the blooms hung like grape clusters. The pods of the flower were velvet, and when I ran my hand underneath them, they felt like delicate mala beads across my palm. The sweet smell of baby powder hung in the air, and I longed to be near them. I sat on the steps of my front porch to hold the impermanence of a Florida spring.

In the Fall, you came and took measure. We dug perfect beds in the sun. You replanted shy-yellow lilies. To flank a much-better laid path. But, the vines. Our bare limbs bled from thorns. We have to get at the roots, you said. You pulled hard and we cut underground. You wielded shovel and saw. To conquer Mount Parnassus’s Pythons. All roots were exposed and then gone.

Now the rusty swing squeaks in the nearby park. The squirrels’ throaty barks fall from the Laurel tree. A sliver of lavender peaks through pale- green buds on the spiraling vine that hugs the Crepe Myrtle trunk like a gentle rebel.

by Johanna Lane


The Voice of the Withlacoochee

To see colors along the Withlacoochee River, you must be there in the slanted light. Walk with her there. Let soft shoes touch the path like a shushing finger to the lips. Notice longleaf pine needles gilded from the sun’s glow. The sinking light unmasks a lapis sky. See the soppy, pine-needled path become maroon, like the underside of a great blue heron’s wing.

Don’t worry if you are out of step with your companion.

Separate the stiff palmetto fronds for her and step down to the riverbank. Don’t fall. Walk closely to the roots and stay on solid ground. As the sun descends, watch how the tannin-stained river appears copper. Be mindful of shin-high cypress knees, so you don’t trip. See them scattered like old faces in a crowd. Focus in on one. Study the intricate lines like those around our eyes and mouths. They reveal our sad and happy stories.

Imagine the deep, gentle flow of a raised river when you see high water lines on Cypress tree trunks. But the shallow reveals gnarled roots grasping the bank; its knuckles protrude and fingertips sink into the soil.

Plan to return. As the setting sun erases the lavender hues in browned grasses, recall what wasn’t said.

by Johanna Lane

Johanna is an adjunct instructor of English at Saint Leo University. She writes personal essays that focus on the diverse and complicated natural environment of Florida and how this can mirror the dynamics in our most intimate interpersonal relationships.

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