The Jobs I Want Are Never Out Of Your Average Jobs Section

Strolling down Bridge Street my eyes wandered to a sign in a window reading, in big bright yellow letters, BOOKS WANTED. I walked in, greeted the man behind the counter with the highest grade of courtesy I could muster, and handed my CV to him with a casual assurance born of weeks of beating the city’s pavement looking for odd jobs. A manager was produced; we conversed. For this kind of position, you see, credentials don’t matter that much but eloquence, the gift of the gab do. And with these I am blessed, and soon I was offered my own office space, on the shelf, where to box in my chatter. What will I be, the brave man inquired. “A Mikhail Bulgakov, sir.” Of the worst kind, of course. A wild and purring mad Master and Margarita. A slight frown shot through my new owner’s face, then disappeared – he would have preferred a Brown or Meyer, a Rankin even, something he’d get rid of in no time. But as a man of taste, he soon muted his commercial concerns and congratulated me for the soundness of my choice.

So here I am, dear reader, sitting on this shelf as I have been doing for weeks now, and if you are reading this at this very instant, it is that I have started tearing up bits of myself, flyleaves, irrelevant front and back matter, to kill time and boredom and sending them for help. Nobody asks for a Bulgakov these days. I’ll grow old on this shelf. But hell, it’s still better than my last gig as a kitchen porter.

by Armel Dagorn

Armel Dagorn was born in 1985 in France and has been living in Cork, Ireland for the past few years. He reads and writes in his adopted language, English, whenever he gets a chance. His stories appear in magazines such as Southword, trnsfr and Wordlegs. He just opened a little place at

So Gray

I did not know
the lighthouse was white;
it always seemed gray,
like the cold empty sea
to which it stood sentinel.
But, once, the sun danced
through the clouds
and the lighthouse beamed –
adagio of glow upon stone.
Soon, the tide ebbed;
bitter clouds closed in;
things returned to gray.
I am lonely, fearful of storms.

by Danny Earl Simmons

His work has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals such as Naugatuck River Review, Avatar Review, Summerset Review, Burningword, and Pirene’s Fountain.

Richard Hartwell


I’d seen him an hour or so earlier,

outside of Medford, before the

rain set in, and I’d hunkered down

at a truck stop to ease the dizziness

in my mind and the queasiness of an

empty stomach, too many cigarettes.


Must have gotten a ride soon, then

passed me when I was off the road.

Here he was once again; suede coat

now soaked to a seal-skin sheen.

His dog was soaked too; black lab,

no leash, sitting next to the bedroll.

That was about all I took in before

eased the gas and onto the shoulder.


I don’t know what possessed me.

Normally I don’t pick up anyone.

Something about his reappearance

perplexed me and needed an answer.

It was kind of a closed-in, dreary day,

a day when you look for company,

good or bad, just to share the rain

and the half-full bottle on the seat.


He didn’t run to the truck when

I stopped a bit ahead of him,

as a young man might do, but

merely bent full from the waist,

retrieved his pack, tipped down

the brim of his hat a lower, and

started forward with a purpose.


The dog came too, of course,

perhaps adding to my belief

in this man’s native goodness;

I can usually rely on dog sense.


Whatever the reason, I decided

to pick up this soaked hitchhiker;

he and the dog grew larger in the

right hand mirror, as did the knife.

by Richard Hartwell



Four – or is it five? – lonely leaves

left dangling from the apricot tree;

wrinkled, yellowed ancients of the

ravages of late fall, early winter.


Seems sort of forlorn to be the

last ones left hanging around

when all the others have left

hurriedly, in the wind, weaving

away to the far side of the yard.


Leaves and fruit bunch together,

huddled communally, windrows

against the base of the wall as if

in group therapy they organize

to rout the wind and restrain the

ravages of snow, rain, and ice.

by Richard Hartwell


Rick Hartwell is a retired middle school (remember, the hormonially-challenged?) English teacher living in Moreno Valley, California, with his wife of thirty-six years (poor soul, her, not him), their disabled daughter, one of their sons and his ex-wife and their two children, and twelve cats. Yes, twelve! He believes in the succinct, that the small becomes large; and, like the Transcendentalists and William Blake, that the instant contains eternity. Given his “druthers,” if he’s not writing poetry, Rick would rather still be tailing plywood in a mill in Oregon.


Lauren Shows

Your mother attempts to clear the bushes

A first infant taste of lunacy

that made me think I could jump the

4-foot porch over the thick hedge

into the yard, scratchless, blameless.


Kid, you’ll be jumping any day now.

You’ll get to know them folks,

them fellas, them naysayers.

You’ll see what I mean:


Always the wide- mouthed expressions,

always, “Are you serious, kid?”

when you come up bleeding

and mount the porch again.


But had you cleared the bushes,

toes in grass, knees unscathed,

family behind you on the porch, cheering,

that’s when you’d have given up jumping.


So anyway, what I mean is, though it

pains me to say it: jump. I still do.

With any kind of luck, eventually

we’ll both make it over.


by Lauren Shows  



“Free canoe. Not seaworthy.”

The ad suggested that it could be used

for a sandbox, a planter, decorative piece

but no one, not those you hated most

should peer out to sea from its unworthy hull.


“I will help you load it.” We made the call,

joking as we bobbed down SR 343

then pulled in, gravel skipping,  pack of dogs barking

and walked up in the dusk and no-see-ums hover.


We should have listened. The mosquitoes grieved

over a still black pond. We bit back laughs

as the red-faced man said, “Ain’t good for shit,”

and scratched his chin, days and days unshaved.


What else can we do? As the sound of water

enters our ears, our shoes, the pockets of clothes

we unmoor it from the porch, and the rain abides.

Step in. Hope the old man knew he was wrong.


by Lauren Shows  



Box Living

One doesn’t intend to comment on

strangers lives, but when you wake

to a glass shattering on the floor

above you, followed by a scream

and then the words I refuse,

repeated, you know that sleep

will not return for quite some time.


They divorced and for a while

it was quite. The husband would wander

the neighborhood in white undershirts,

the wife presumably far away. Then

they discovered the phone and a whole

new kind of one sided argument erupted,

louder, with no broken dishes.


Our next door neighbors were happy,

and in love, which is a different sort

of problem. A different set of sounds.


by Caitlin Elizabeth Thomson  

Peggy Aylsworth

Invitation From Hopper

She leans forward into the bay window.

Water, a long way off and a loon cries.

In the room, a man speaks,

someone listens.  Expectations

are set in motion.  She remains

frozen at the window, waiting,

not a matter of time.  The call

of the loon carries over the water.

Expectations have a way of shifting.


Though The Scream has been stolen,

Oslo keeps its appeal, the train ride

a preliminary.  Formal introductions

have their own façade.  Do you

bow or let your eyes reach

their own conclusions?  So much

has entered, rushing to fill the gap.


Still she leans into the morning light.

The thicket, green and familiar,

doesn’t distract.  Out there,

the air has a yellowness, lifting

from the tall growth gone dry.

Anticipation holds, a thread not quite sewn.

by Peggy Aylsworth   


By The Grace Of

The orange moon

plays the banjo, hot tempos

over blackest night

as the city bravely lights its tower-tops.

The beat

presses through glass.

Ovens blister

the sleepless in New York.

All things interior

breed new eyes, opening to the unseen,

held for the perspicacious

to uncover in the star-hung night.

Delicate lights

signal windows, signal pauses

for thought,

a revelation luminous as the moon.

Country calls can almost

be heard,

but their value


the impeded.

Night birds have nested

in the lungs

of many born in tall grass

gone dry,

grown foreign.

by Peggy Aylsworth

Listed at Duotrope
Listed with Poets & Writers
CLMP Member
List with Art Deadline
Follow us on MagCloud