Roy Dorman, two poems

Dream On


Crisp blue dress shirt, matching tie, black over the calf socks; that’s it?

“What do you think you’re doing, Davis?  Get some pants on right now.”

“Don’t worry, sir,” I reply calmly, “I think this is one of those really weird dreams brought on by frustrations with my work situation, coupled with some unresolved sexual issues.”  I don’t know where the heck that came from.  It sounded like I was quoting lines from an article that would be found in one of those cheap tabloids at the grocery store checkout.

“One of us sure as hell better be dreaming or you might be looking for a new job,” he snorted. 

Just then, Jennifer, one of my co-workers, walked up to us without a stitch of clothing on.

“I’ll take it from here, Mr. Paine, you see, this is my dream.  Come along with me, Bill, I need some help getting some things from the supply room.”

Mr. Paine stomped off.   Or rather, he tried to stomp off.  It’s hard to stomp when you’re wearing flip-flops.


The Audition


Casting sent too many again.  I’ve got parts for three extras and they send ten actors.  I haven’t got time to audition each one.  I’m getting too old for this.  So, I’ll sift and winnow.

“Okay, who wants to go to bed with me tonight?”

Three hands shoot up. 

“You three can leave.  Next time try to keep your hormones under control.  Alright, moving right along, who likes jelly donuts?”

Two hands slowly snake into the air.

“Good, you’re Cashier One and you’re Cashier Two.”

“Geez Louise,” a frustrated whisper drifts from the back.

“That’s it; you’re Irate Customer.  We’re done here.”


Roy Dorman


Roy Dorman is a retired from the University of Wisconsin-Benefits Office. He has been a voracious reader for almost 60 years. At the prompting of an old high school friend, himself a retired English teacher, Roy is now also a voracious writer.

The Proposal

Once, I had one hundred imaginary dogs and my nursery school classmates decided to have imaginary dogs too. Siddhartha decided to have imaginary elephants instead with names filled with letters strung together like the pretty glass beads my teacher wore around her neck. I liked Siddhartha because he always shared his crayons.

Once, Justin, who lived in my grandmother’s building and showed me how boys could pee standing up, told me he was eating my imaginary dogs. I watched him bring his grimy fingers up to his mouth and ran away angrily. Loneliness tainted the rest of my day, and I kept turning my head to look mournfully behind me as I walked, now void of one hundred imaginary puppies that always frolicked in my wake.

The next day, he came up to me again. “Yum, yum, yum,” he said, gnashing his pearl-white teeth together around the necks of my dogs. “Your dogs are delicious.”

“Nuh uh,” I retorted, my hands planted firmly on my hips. “I left my dogs at home today. You’re eating imaginary worms.” Justin, who wore batman underwear and always scored in kickball, stared at me with his mouth open as I walked away triumphantly knowing that his stomach was now filled with imaginary worms.

Justin asked me to marry him at recess the next day. But unfortunately for Justin, I had already asked Siddhartha, who had very politely, said yes.

by Amelia Jane Nierenberg


Amelia Jane Nierenberg is a Junior at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York. She is a Fiction Reader for the Adroit Journal, the Fiction Editor and co-founder of the Fieldston Literary magazine, The Icebox, and spends much of her free time painting and writing. Her work either appears, or is forthcoming in Amazing Kids! Magazine, Tap Magazine Issue 25: Bare, Prick of the Spindle, the Blue Pencil Online, the Doctor T. J. Eckelburg Review, the Emerge Literary Journal, the Eunoia Review, the Postscript Journal, the Poydras Review, the Rusty Nail, the Black Fox Literary Magazine, Torrid Literature Polyphony HS and the Blue Lake Review. She received an Honorable Mention for creative nonfiction in the Young Authors Competition in addition to five regional Honorable Mentions, eight Regional Silver Keys and three Regional Gold Keys from the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and a National Gold Key for Flash Fiction.

Party Favors

He passes the old place daily,

The abandoned mill where his grandfather

Worked, made his livelihood

And sense of his life, making wood

Products, until the job went elsewhere.


He thinks about the old man now,

Several times a day sometimes.

His own father checked out early,

Disappeared, followed a dream

That didn’t include family.

His grandfather took him in,

Raised him best he could.

Good years, no matter what,

No one could take that away.


Now, his grandfather dead,

He’s on his own at thirty-eight,

On the road five days a week,

Selling party favors, cheap trinkets

Made in Thailand and China.

Party hats and blowers, confetti,

Candles that won’t blow out,

Napkins and plates with clown motifs.

Crap, every last bit of it,

All made by little kids worked numb,

Who never wear party hats.


He passes the old mill now.

He’s popping pills to stay awake,

Other pills to stay sane and numb.

He rolls down the window to smell

The field, the creek, the old mill,

He wants to scream but he’s too tired.

He’s already late for his appointments.

Venders depend on him, his party favors.

Many celebrations await.


by Christopher Woods




Christopher Woods is a writer, teacher and photographer who lives in Houston and Chappell Hill, Texas. His published works include a prose collection, UNDER A RIVERBED SKY, and a book of stage monologues for actors, HEART SPEAK. He conducts creative writing workshops in Houston at The Women’s Institute. His photographs have appeared in many journals, with photo essays published in GLASGOW REVIEW, PUBLIC REPUBLIC, DEEP SOUTH and NARRATIVE MAGAZINE, among others. He has completed a darkly comedic novel, HEARTS IN THE DARK, about a sociopathic radio talk-show host. His photography can be seen in his online gallery –

The Western Hemisphere

The Western Hemisphere is asleep

with one great eye cocked open


fastened to the burning stars that used

to guide women and men to their future


and at first glance one may mistake

it for dead and not be far wrong


the body collapsed in front of a barren

library huddled under incalculable layers


of coarse blankets and buffalo hides, with

one prehistoric hand trust bravely forth


clutching an ash stick that looks more

suited for fertility rituals than walking


a cigar burns incongruously out the

side of the fertile mouth with lips


that bloom like wild mustard through concrete

and just to the north the obscene mustache


cured by the smoke and in danger of

catching fire itself or disappearing


and the beard, a dangerous whirl of knotted

wool and shadows is littered with objects


gathered off the street, flecks of leaves

and black earth, dried and brittle remains


of lottery tickets, chards of shell and bone

pages torn ruefully from literary magazines


some still smoldering as if recently issued

from a smoke stack, and if you look deeper


an underground canopy teeming with dark

insectile faces, a cosmos of imaginary life


and death, ten thousand years of tearful

wondering, bald eagle feathers, discarded


rattlesnake skins petrified by the vacuous

terror and loneliness in the one good eye.


by Stephen Moore


Steve Moore formally studied theoretical physics and abstract mathematics but now has no time for such nonsense. Since college, he has wandered restlessly about North America and Europe, and has lived in such disreputable places as Liverpool, England; Carrboro, North Carolina and most recently Carrollton, Georgia where he currently resides with his family. He is a now full-time student of urban planning and father of two precocious kids. His free time is spent working on his poetry, short fiction and long unfinished novel. His poem, ‘Love in the Time of Vinyl Siding’ was recently published in the 2013 edition of Eclectic, the Arts and Literary Magazine of the University of West Georgia. His short story, ‘Incident at Oscuro’, appeared in The Fabulist’s 2010 anthology, and his poem, ‘The Bride’, was one of the winning entries in the 2009 Cardiff Academy International Poetry Contest.


A Foot in the Grave

It felt like I was somewhere I wasn’t supposed to be, like I’d walked into a house that looked like mine, but belonged to someone else. She found me in the kitchen drinking a glass of water. Her eyes welled up and shone bright with what would soon form tears. I was in the right house, but at ten in the morning, I should’ve been somewhere else.


“Don’t cry,” I said.


“How much do we have?” She always cut to what mattered most, and in that minute, what mattered most was money. She didn’t care how I lost my job, she only cared that in that moment, I didn’t have one.


“We’ve got enough. Don’t worry, I’ll find something.” I didn’t know how long it would take and we both knew my words were empty, but I said them anyway.


“And then?” Her voice rose; she was angry, but not at me.


“And then I’ll find something,” I said, letting my tone match hers. “Where are the kids?”


She pointed toward the back yard.


I walked to the window, frosted with ice. Through a clear patch, I envied the innocence on the other side. “Where’s the camera?” I asked. “I want to save this.”


“We sold it. The last time.”


About a month later, I was working again and with my first check, I bought another camera. Nothing fancy, just something that  saved scenes worth saving because some things are more important to save than money.



by Foster Trecost


Foster Trecost is from New Orleans, but he lives in Germany. His stories have appeared in Elimae, Corium and Metazen, among other places.

Brett Stout

This Door was locked by David Berkowitz


The pig tooth hangs from a vintage nail

the scissors cut and paste Tempe, Arizona

job for a cubicle cowboy

makes one detestable,


numbers never dialed

written on stained Post-It notes

she called me an asshole

and I call her dead

no cigarettes

plenty of blue pills

sweep the memories

under the bed

the sand warps under midnight pressure

unpaid bills

by the

people under the stairs

stare at a spider

watch a meteorite shower at 5 a.m.

don’t have a drink

you can’t afford it

go anyways

charge it

pay later

who fucking cares

do I have anything to live for anymore…

while contemplating,


I can’t answer that dad,


I can’t answer that mom,


I can’t answer that stranger in the gas station.



Me and the Darkness and 40oz’s of Freedom


I was walking home drunk down Moreland Avenue around five in the morning. I didn’t have any money for a cab and I had no one to call. I heard footsteps behind me for quite a while and looked back occasionally and saw someone walking behind me. I finally got paranoid enough that when I saw a small brick wall next to the sidewalk I was walking down I casually sat down and lit a cigarette hoping that the person behind me would walk past me and leave me the hell alone so I could walk in drunken inspired peace. An older black man approached me as I sat there on the small brick wall. He asked me how I was doing. I said “pretty good, but this fucking walk is killing me.” He didn’t say anything and just reached into his jacket and pulled out a scratched and faded gold wristwatch. He asked if I would give him five bucks for it. I said “what the fuck” and reached into my pants and pulled out a crisp five dollar bill and handed it to him. He said “hell yeah buddy, now I can get a drink” He handed me the watch and I put the scratched and faded gold watch on my right hand and finished stumbling home. I noticed the next day that it didn’t even work and it smelled funny.



Clean Bugs, Dirty Carpet


Me and the wife were sitting around the living room after we finished our TV dinners. It was the usual Hungry Man roast beef with mashed potatoes and corn with a brownie for desert. The wife was flipping through endless channels when she stopped upon the local cable access channel. They were flashing pictures of recent guys arrested for soliciting prostitutes in the county, trying to embarrass them or some shit. I had a mouth full of a potatoes and corn when I saw my drunken mug shot from last week flash across the TV screen.


Brett Stout is a 33-year-old writer and artist. He is a high school dropout and former construction worker turned college graduate and Paramedic. He writes while mainly hung-over on white lined paper in a small cramped apartment in Myrtle Beach, SC. He published his first novel of prose and poetry entitled “Lab Rat Manifesto” in 2007.

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