Elias Van Son

low voices

God and i talk all day

in low voices. i’m driving

and he says something like


“did you know

the air pressure in one of those semi-truck’s wheels

is so great that they sometimes explode?

and when they do, they shoot off the axel like a rocket.

if you happen to be driving beside one

at just the right moment,

three hundred pounds of steel and hot rubber

comes smashing through your window

and takes your head clean off.”




“yeah. it happens every day, only

you don’t hear about it.

and do you know why that is?

because no suit makes a dime off random tragedy.

we’ve got home security systems,

public service announcements

for the endangered polar bear,

your choice of six dozen drugs

to keep you from bathing with your toaster,

but when it comes to those “unpreventable” events,

those deaths which have no patented and affordable cure,

mum is the word.

it kind of makes you wonder about things, you know?

like the connection between governmental policy

and the booming industry of medicine.”


“holy shit. take it easy on me, big guy.”


and he laughs,

“what i’m saying is that life is a gift,

and there’s really no time to shake the box or guess

at what’s inside. rip off the wrapping.

become a rock star, a monk, a father, a junkie

if that’s what you want. stop trying and just do.

roll down the windows, stomp the pedal,

but for Christ’s sake enjoy the ride.”


i’m feeling almost convinced

until some daft bitch cuts us off

in traffic, i punch the dash hard and

damn everything to hell.


a man picks up a lady of the night

a man picks up a lady of the night,

pays her to lie in bed beside him

’cause i’m afraid to die alone, says he,

pulls a gun from the pillowcase and

paints red the rented room.

he said [she says]

his dog don’t like loud noises


he wrote

the only end for me would be

to be dragonflies whose wings beat

in perfect and effortless syncopation

toward a torn-open hole in the sky

[six legs wave goodbye]

hauling down monuments to the tune of our instruments

blooming, but still asking why


lord God bless and curse the martyr who

fell madly in love with his own reflection who

[drunk with pride] dove headfirst into shallow water who

came face to face to face his sorry self

and the bottom of thy swimming pool in autumn

[for he was]


lost in thought / buried by leaves / reborn into the light


may the dog eared pages of his volumes speak

boldly through the throats of future ghosts forever

and ever amen


Elias Van Son


Elias Van Son is a young artist living in the Catskill mountains of New York. His writing has appeared in ATOMICA, In Preparation, The Angle, and elsewhere. His first full-length book of poems Little Feather was published in 2009 by Some Blaze Free Press, and an EP of his language-based music is forthcoming from Steak and Cake Records.

HollyAnn Walls


“Life is what you make it,”

They told me. So


I made mine

sit down and

shut up.


I stuffed it

into a small, neat,

square and shiny



I crammed a

ball gag

in its mouth

lest it embarrass me or

scream for help.


I chastised it

for coloring

outside the lines,

for singing too loud

in the shower—

for thinking for itself.


when my life

dared – to fidget,

I tied its hands together

with good, strong rope

made of moral fiber.


It starved—


weary and pasty.

Its limbs & lips

are now

colorless, dead.


Its eyes

faded and sank.


That neat and tidy

box is now

its casket— its tomb.



Gauzy fibrous pipes –

melded pinwheels, or

lacy doilies crocheted by the sea.

Interlocking, united, porous


where invisible beasts

seek shelter.


Formed by the hand of Poseidon’s

own grace

joined by his caress

forged by his wrath.


In this universe

unknown & overlooked by

militant waves, these

miniscule worlds

rise & fall—

are created & destroyed


Information Inspiration

Invitation to…




Save a dying world.


Learn about:



Coral reefs



What’s up.


Here’s your chance.

Experience Happiness—

Inspire Curiosity—

Art & Music

Fiction-Inspired Learning


Ensure continued access.

Upgrade your network.

Nominate someone.

Friends & Family welcome.


Here’s your chance.

Have and idea or

Ask a question.

Here’s your chance.




Do something

You’ll remember.


Here’s your chance.

Do something.

(Don’t miss out)


DO something

DO SOMEthing.



HollyAnn Walls

Nickie Albert

Sick Day

I’m taking the day off

to mourn my life


which is not something

I can do at work


surrounded by computers

and codes.


Grief and regret – that one

we’re implored to deny –


can’t be codified.

They can be washed in tears


or taken for a walk

to the park, in the rain.


Or written down and out

in the hope of freedom


or better yet, redemption.

They can’t be summarized


into a memo to a choice few,

and copied to a few more.


Written quickly

and typed from memory,


that memo would be

an embarrassment


to the Professionals.

They would think, well,


she’s really lost it now,

telling us this. All the while


keeping back their own tears

welling up inside.


The Color of Wind

The end of his fingertips are pressed tightly against his eyelids,

praying for a color, a pink, a deep blue –


he knows nothing of pink or deep blue.

He knows the smell of watermelon


on a hot, humid day.

A seed gets spit onto a paper plate.


He knows the feel of seersucker against his legs –

that soft, corrugated cotton


moving with the breeze.

A bell rings on a quiet porch.


The wind blows an easy hello while he

makes his way through the living room.


Sitting on a chair in the shade

he listens to the bell chime


for his sound heart

and his telling tongue.


The wind greets him across the morning

through the wildflower fields


filled with the deep reds of poppies

the purple of flowering salvia.


Review of a Lifetime

There are angels in this city

with cameras slung round their necks.


Disguised as tourists, they take pictures

of us. Documenting our time on Earth.


Did you give the bum

a quarter or a smoke?


Did you cross at the light

or run when you could?


Did you smile at the stranger

as she snapped your photo


taking it to God for the review

of your life?


There are angels in this city

on the sidewalks, in the streets.


They are the cabdrivers, the waitresses,

the docents at the museum.


They are the clerks at Duane Reade

and the millionaires in their town cars.


They are the journalists of heaven

under the cover of humanity


watching over and watching us,

making sure we keep the pact


made at birth.

The deal of innocence


played out over a lifetime,

a wingspan, encompassing


all the hours

from birth to death.

Nickie Albert

G David Schwartz

I’ll Not Pay The Piper

I’ll not pay the piper

Nor shall I sing

And forget about

That long flung shout

Which makes a man feel dumb

Have a little care

The grave is just down there

and with but a stoke

Of dumb luck or perhaps a joke

Pinch a penny and drag a shoe

There is much we ought to know

Just in time to get on by

And past the day or time we die



What Are You Thinking

(Bev asked me)


I am so glad that you are you

And I am so glad you are you

I am just so dang glad

As well as happy too

And in as much as that may bore you

I will tell you again and true

I am so glad that you are you

And I am so glad you are you

I’ve Got A Smile On My Face

G David Schwartz

I’ve got a smile on my face

And I take it every place

Every single place I go


G David Schwartz


Schwartz is the author of A Jewish Appraisal of Dialogue. Currently a volunteer at Drake Hospital in Cincinnati, Schwartz continues to write. His new book, Midrash and Working Out Of The Book is now in stores or can be ordered.

Frank Rossini

tough guy in moonlight

in 7th grade he sat

last row last seat

head on desk asleep Sister

Cleopha slapped

his ear he laughed her face red


trembling on the playground no one

looked him in the eye afraid

to wake his hands

two furious stones tearing

holes in God’s light


seven years later I poured

drinks in a seaside bar I’d learned

to know a little

about a lot

could talk to the toughest guy who’d

be in the Series where

to find parts for a ’63

Impala how

he knocked that motheringfucking

bartender from down the street flat

out I gave him free drinks

to cool

the bad drunks


now he leans

on a thick

stick worn

smooth by broken

hand & muscled

weight the woman the nuns

warned 7th grade

girls they’d become if

they danced with the tough guy holds

his empty hand full

moon sways

him to her



street preacher

when I close my eyes I hear

the father’s voice not

his son’s as he cautiously becomes

man not

the spirit’s tongue

of feathers & fire I hear

continents grind

time’s big drum the voice of no

not what could or should not

being’s eternal quarrel

but when I speak a starling


with its own



I know

one day I’ll open

my eyes see

his voice a pillar

of sound my breath

braids around & you

will stop & you

you & you

will listen


Frank Rossini


Frank Rossini has been published in various magazines including Poetry Now, The Seattle Review, and Wisconsin Review.

Eric Rawson

(Notes on) A Suburban Landscape

Where dwelling is a mode

Of citizenship


Not self

Not text / landschaft

Because the world

Has been always

Made even not here


But the proprietary between-places

That poetry occupies


‘Filling [one]’—like Lewis or

Clark—‘with vague cravings


To satisfy’



Beyond the formal



Without authority


The daft all-over metropoles

And their back-

Ground of ordinances

Gridding the rural

Mile square mile


Mostly what we notice mostly:

Slightly interesting events

Things to be scared of

Persons with dogs

Taking the place

Of reference anxiety

It’s true:


If the way through

Were not also the way in

We would be lost


Taking Turns

Soon I too will

Carry my string


Into the wilderness



Useful language

Or handsome shadow


I know change

Is not easy


But I resent

The silence


My body makes

Space around it to live in


To have an ideal

When I get back there


To the terror I hope

That song


You used to sing

When you


Thought I wasn’t

Listening still


Has the old

Stardusted magic


Eric Rawson


Eric’s work has recently appeared in a number of periodicals, including Ploughshares, Agni, and Denver Quarterly. My book The Hummingbird Hour was published in October.

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