Being on the run wasn’t half as glamorous as I had expected: they never tell you about Bonnie and Clyde shitting in the woods.


by Samuel Best


Samuel Best is a Glasgow-based writer and also runs Octavius, a literary magazine for students studying in Scotland. Samuel is currently writing two novels based on different blends of Scottish national identity, violence and running away. He tweets at @spbbest and has more stories available here: http://samuelbest.weebly.com/

A Break In The Weather

we were mistaken for sisters, two middle-school blondes,

glasses sliding down noses, volleying secrets

in whispers. winter storm clouds held the promise

of snow days; we crossed our fingers for blizzards.


years later, we sit in her parlor, discussing our lives.

we’ve forgotten much, but memories cut our minds

like dull knives – a butchery too eternal

to reconsider, too sweetly painful to pass by.


I drive away. the moon sags behind the sifting snow,

a frigid night so similar to the ones we used

to hope for together. old dreams are frozen through

from time and cold. what we need is a break in the weather.


by Katherine Vondy


Katherine Vondy is an LA-based writer and filmmaker. A 2009 resident writer at Wildacres, a 2012 resident artist at Starry Night and a 2013 artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Stickman Review, Toasted Cheese, Red River Review, Perigee, Dark Sky Magazine, The Oklahoma Review, Breakwater Review and short story anthology The Lover, the Lunatic and the Poet. Katherine earned a BA in English and Music from Amherst College and an MFA in Film & Television Production from the University of Southern California. Her blog of comedic mini-essays can be found at http://thewalkingdeadpan.tumblr.com/.


Wendy Sue Gist poems

Fragments of Southwestern Youth


Stink beetles balance


on splintered porch.

Arizona daze,

San Francisco Peaks


Dragonflies flash blue

as jelly shoes.

Chicken-egg scoop



Sunflowers arch

rock-hunked roads

through ponderosa pine.


neighbor, turquoise nuggets

machine drills, echoes.


Pine bough huts,

Sinagua potsherds,

black-on-white patterns

fragment underfoot;

daydreams dead awaken

earthen palms:

ontological monsoon.


No cell phone, no gps.

Sun out time: time-in

moon orb oozes behind

Mars Hill:


no ears ringing, no calls

from home or to home,

not in far-gone

forest of youth.



Visitor at Tsaile Lake


It’s dry as drought. A freckle-face cow startles the way, horns point tips to hip. Sun bleached tree limbs strew land all over the place like moo bones. Indian paint brush flame. Grasshoppers buzz the path, streak sand with dot lines, sashaying among piñon pine and juniper to a clearing. Clouds smile wisping turquoise sky, reflecting Tsaile Lake. Horsetails, four, dance lyrical. A pale pony, muscle-legs shades of sage, ignores, mane and tail, ink-black as raven wing shine, tendril a bellowing sky. A pitch-black horse, white splotched down its sides like a painted on saddle, skedaddles. Albino stallion, eyes lined pink, bucks. Hoofs tread coral sand amidst thickets of sea-green sagebrush: itch, itch, I itch, sneeze, wheeze. Wind blows a current to a reddish mare grazing a frenzy feed of native grass. All the wild horses I pass. Folks at lakeshore tug trout while bridal-white pelicans rise, rise. A truck of boys get stuck today–muck spins wheels, stop again, again spin, at lakes end. Navajo women in a pickup pull up, say: “Are you from around here?”



Wendy Sue Gist’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Dark Matter, New Plains Review, Oyez Review, Pif Magazine, Rio Grande Review, RipRap, The Chaffey Review, The Fourth River and Tulane Review for your consideration.

Background Noise

Let us lie

underneath a coffee stained sky

blend the brown of our skin with the brown of the earth.

Moist, fertilized, this is a reincarnation.


So that’s the poem, what do you think?  He asks with half rhymes dangling from his tobacco tinted tongue. I shrug and frown that’s how New Yorkers respond. Feels like he wrote this before, serenaded an ex girlfriend who sat unaware of the effort it took him to come up with an ending. Yeah this is déjà vu. Dangerous déjà-poetics that paralyze right hand impulses but still we pop E pills, fill our E tanks with fuel for love. He was from the Boogie, I from Brooklyn, yet we spoke the same language. Keep reading.

I’m almost there.


Let us lie

among the singing crickets, crack their crispy green scales

during public love making sessions. God is watching

and she’s listening intently as we orchestrate nature.

We are the music.


His poetry is like the salsa songs I grew up on minus the congas and timbales, like hip hop legacies minus Run DMC, like Adidas shell tops minus the stripes, like the Apollo minus the lucky tree stump. Still it’s good background noise as we tweak. Its 2:15 in the morning, but my neighbors don’t sleep and neither do we. Pass me a cigarette, will ya?

I’m almost there.


Let us lie

in bed sheets that change colors, sweat through pores that change motives,

and penetrate tonight until tomorrow is born. One day we could be

lovers. But for now, I just want to count your goose bumps,   

  hundreds of them, and give each single one a reason to exist.


Newports shrink in mouth-aided bear hugs and ashes falls through gaps in the fire-escape. We stand there squinting as the sun taunts us with her bright slutiness. The darkness is almost over, paintings on the wall lopsided and his poetry subsided. “You should write about this moment”, I tell him. Love poems are overrated so we kiss, spit, and blink.

I’m still not in love. Go figure.


by Maria Billini

Maria Billini  is a New York City born and bred poet with an MFA in poetry from The City College of New York. Previously her work has been published in Shakefist Magazine and the Promethean. She is currently working on three chapbooks, Beautiful Mentirosa, Cuchifrito Dreams and Gentleman Prefer Virginia Slims. Recently, she had the pleasure to perform in the Show N’ Tell Em showcase, Nuyorican Poets Café, MFA Reading Series at Bar 82 , the CUNY Turnstyle Reading Series, and the SpeakUP showcase at the Sofa Lounge.

What I Saw One Day

An old man with Alzheimers

bit by a rattler in his front yard


Freckled kid swinging on an old tire

Rope gives way and he falls

breaks his leg


I watch both events from my kitchen window


I go to the Arches

and stand under a rock arch

worth millions of tons of rock

and think: Is this the day

this arch gives way?

It never has

but on one day

I saw an old man snake-bit

and a swing give way, kid break his leg


And I saw bees burn with false sweetness

and I saw my fat, slovenly sister stand in front of the cemetery

and eat a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream

out of the container

all by herself


by Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois


Mitchell Krochmalnik Grabois was born in the Bronx and now splits his time between Denver and a one-hundred-and-twenty-year-old, one room schoolhouse in Riverton Township, Michigan. His short fiction and poetry appears in close to two hundred literary magazines, most recently The T.J. Eckleberg Review, Memoir Journal, Out of Our and The Blue Hour. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, most recently for his story “Purple Heart” published in The Examined Life in 2012. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, published by Xavier Vargas E-ditions, is available for all e-readers for 99 cents through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. A print edition is also available through Amazon.

Coffee for Two

the coffee shop overfilling and ringing

with mirth and memorable conversation,

floating and finding ownership in the

crooks and crannies of the enclosed room.

no longer smoke but steam.

spent words between friends and strangers alike.

the aloneness cuts through and slices

the moments like a dark dagger cutting

through the thick fog offered up by the

grand imagination of nature.  the hunger for

life is measured by one’s own cravings and

constitution to offer themselves up to the

magical moments we have with each other.  


by Steven Jacobson


Steven Jacobson was born and raised in the Mid-west graduating from UW-LaCrosse, WI with a double major in Physics and Mathematics. His poetry has been submitted to Access Press, an online newspaper, featuring selected poetry. He has attended (8) classes from the Loft Literary Center, promoting all levels of creative writing.

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