Cara Schiff

Death for Sale


He sells death. 

Night black pistols,

brassy bullets.

Rifles sardined in

a car trunk.


The house is plaid curtains,

their dust still.  In back,

swing set chains rust

without small hands.

The gate squeaks. 


He hides the money in the flower pots,

buckets under the sink.

Plastic-covered bricks of bills

float in every toilet tank.


He stuffs cash in his couch,

moving his arm like a thief

probing a vending machine.

Fabric chafes his skin.

He sutures the upholstery

with staples.


He sells death.

Limp rabbits, gun-pocked tree trunks.

Ruptured cans glint in sun.


He sells death.

A sandal waits

for its foot.  A bent knee

points to wine red drying

on the sidewalk.    





Our Sunday Morning


Your voice is better than sun through a cold window.  

Your words are warm socks.

Your sentences sugared coffee.


Watching you is better than clean sheets.

Over the collar of your jacket, the hair on

the back of your neck grows like new grass.

The roots of your hair always look dirty

brown against the blond white strands.

The pockmarks on your cheeks

make your face a pink moon.


I love the holes in your tights

where the butter of your thighs shows through.  

I love your clunky black glasses,

the hard candy eyes behind them.


When we’re together, it’ll be the longest Sunday morning.  

All white sheets, laughing, and spilled coffee.  

And I’ll run my fingers on each of your scars.

Your candy eyes will shine.   

Your hair will stick up with sweat and pillows.  


We’ll fuzz our teeth with coffee.

We’ll write our love in window steam.

We’ll live in our Sunday morning.  





Cara Schiff lives in Denver, CO and works as a professional gardener. Most recently, her work has been selected for Burner Magazine and the forthcoming issues of Emerge Literary Journal and Bookends Review.



Eos and Tithonus

When I crept out of

bed for work

you were so


I thought you had actually died.

As a garbage

truck roared by,

I wished

I could


wrap you in

my saffron


and carry you

every morning.

Or that I could transform

you into a cricket

to hear you

chat freely with

the dusk.


You said

you thought


wanted to live forever

with me,

so that we

could climb into

a spaceship and watch


fall apart.




it seems

in your paling

mind I’m daily

dulled with the ghost

light of the moon.

I don’t want to be


all I want to be

is your last rosy-fingered dawn.


by Mx. Glass


Mx. Glass recently graduated from the Creative Writing BA program at San Francisco State University. Her current project is to look at different modes of haunting in our society, such as myth, cultural norms, memory and language.

The Art of Sacrifice

When the old origami



the crash of pieces


formed us

hymnal-print white


down where the tilted day

first moved in the clefts  

glistening over scattered moss


and aboriginal hoofs


that had escaped the ghost

but not the blood.


Dividing the fur

like a mountain silhouette

gradually erased by a darkening red atmosphere,


ripe green swords

bore our faces


under the fetal chandelier

of giant stars.



by Daniel Gillespie


john sweet: six poems

like sunlight, like chrome


mouths always hungry, always

open and dirty hands shoveling

in shit, got to keep the

fuckers alive if you want to

keep selling them whatever it

is that’s made you rich, got

to bleed the fuckers just so much,

just so far, got to give them a

line of credit then take it away

then give it back again, those

fat little grabbing hands, those

brittle cancerous bones, got

to invent disease to invent the

cure, got to film the sexiest

girls on their hands & knees,

got to keep them in line, keep

them addicted, keep them

skinny or fat and always

hungry, mouths always open,

holes where the shit goes in

and where the shit comes out

and when you have finally

bought it all, when you have

finally bought everything

that will ever make you happy,

then there is nothing to do

but start counting backwards

                         to your death








In the telling,

nothing is made clear


Sunlight, yes, but the lawns

still damp from the rain, the trees

shimmering.  Halos around the

heads of the youngest children.


Voice of a man, slightly bored,

uncomfortable in the heat, says into

the face of the void The killer was

not found among the dead.


Dog barks somewhere out of sight

and you notice that all of

the windows have been broken.


You notice that the buzzing of

flies is unnaturally loud.


Smell of despair is






western world


and you will hate everyone who has

more than you, and you will look

down upon anyone with less


and you will be adamant

and you will be outraged


you will be frightened

                     of course


you will be crucified


nothing more or

less than what you deserve





the brilliance of moving targets


thin skin of heat at the end

of august


sky no longer solid


man moves through the empty spaces

of broken marriage, of

distant children, of subtle depression


pills don’t work

and so he takes more


feels the weight of sunlight

                           on chrome


tastes dust in his lover’s kisses


has this house that

refuses to become a home







find a woman whose skin tastes of

rust and call her your own


this is the way


these are the hands


press near the shoulderblades where

wings have failed to grow and

blame society, blame the modern age,

cable tv, internet porn


kiss her breasts lightly


run your tongue down her belly


let the priests dig

their own fucking graves





hollow star


caught there on a deserted street in

a dying town, beneath the awning of an

abandoned store, rain without end and

no cars in any direction and in the

moment of prayer there is only the memory

                                  of sunlight on chrome


there is only waiting


days spent touching the grey

flesh of christ


hours spent burning up

in the fever of addiction


all of the humor found in the pain of others,

and the child has hands until the

soldiers arrive

and then he has nothing


smile when you

tell him there are worse things


when you tell him about

your leaking gas tank about

your flooded basement or

your pregnant teenage daughter


offer him a drink


ask him why he’s crying on

such a perfect summer afternoon





John Sweet, born 1968, is married, father of two, and opposed to all that is evil. He has been living in the vast wasteland that is upstate New York for the majority of his life; is a firm believer in writing as catharsis, and in the idea that true democracy is a myth. A full length collection of his work, Human Cathedrals, is available from Ravenna Press.


Gaia Elemental

To wind that blows from better days

with the scent of mint and honeysuckle,

I thank you for this breath of fresh air

in weather long past prediction.


To sun that sets into the ocean

whose water does not dowse,

I warm my hands tonight

on the campfire you set today.


To rain that cleans and cools

the wounds and thirsts for more,

from cupped hands I drink

my limit of clear waterfall.


To all elements, all hungers,

may I learn to give what you need

and fair portion of what you want.


To the earth that bears us,

I mourn the scars of our legacy

but thank you for the home we share

atop your weathered body.



by Robert S. King


Robert S. King, a native Georgian, now lives in the mountains near Hayesville, NC. His poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, including California Quarterly, Chariton Review, Hollins Critic, Kenyon Review, Lullwater Review, Main Street Rag, Midwest Quarterly, Negative Capability, Southern Poetry Review, and Spoon River Poetry Review. He has published three chapbooks (When Stars Fall Down as Snow, Garland Press 1976; Dream of the Electric Eel, Wolfsong Publications 1982; and The Traveller’s Tale, Whistle Press 1998). His full‐length collections are The Hunted River and The Gravedigger’s Roots, both in 2nd editions from FutureCycle Press, 2012; and One Man’s Profit from Sweatshoppe Publications, 2013.


C Carol poems

coffee ring residue


she said, lately i’m as comforting

as a cup of day-old, microwaved coffee


i told her, silly kitten – you don’t drink java


you’re missing the point


where were you saturday night?

why did you stumble home at 4:00 AM?

who were you with?


no one; no body (spoke Odysseus, the liar)


credit cards leave a paper trail

like little, extramarital breadcrumbs


she asked me, when was the last time

you were honest with yourself

or with me?


i shrugged and emptied myself into the drain




not my best


put the blue one on, she said

i like that one


she helps me

pull the windsor knot



water on the stove

for coffee

don’t forget




i wasn’t feeling

my best

(not my best at all)


but she helps

me find the buttons

and keeps

my tie





C Carol studied poetry under Diane Wakoski at Michigan State University and has been published in Empty Mirror ( and elsewhere.

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