ju·ve·nes·cence ˌjo͞ovəˈnesəns/noun: juvenescence
The state or period of being young.
Hours unrequited in coils round the orb
Fled skins ride slip shod over freshly mown lawns
A hiccup, a sneeze, a tongue clipped by the shut door
Beyond reach of recovery in the suburban predawn
Bottle fed hours a morning worm tried down throats
Hands and often mouths washed out with soap
Saturday morning, rug burns, quest for the lost remote
Fatherless but not unwilling to cope
Nestling the soft belly asleep in the garden weeds
Sprung from the rain dark soil in beds
Wild and abundant fury of split seeds
To roost and rabble rouse to apprehend
Inspires ancient capillaries to shine out blue
Or purple abloom with new bruises
by Tina Garvin
Tina is currently completing her BFA at the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. Her poetry has most recently been published in Blueline Literary Journal and Shoe Music Press.
My little brother has rolled himself into a ball in the back of Grandpa’s pickup while mom—Grandpa is a mean bastard she says—is hollering at him to hurry the hell up before little Sammy dies. We—my sisters and I, and my brother who is bleeding all over the place—are being thrown about in the back of the pickup as Grandpa races towards the far horizon. We are forty miles from the nearest town with a hospital. And mom can’t stop yelling, pointing, and she can’t stop giving little Sammy that worried look. We should all be afraid, but we’re not. Nothing bad has happened to us since Dad died three and half years ago.
Upfront, mom rummages through her bulging black purse, removes a cigarette and lights it. She holds the lit cigarette up for Grandpa to take. He puffs and exhales until it’s only ash—never once taking it from his mouth. After he’s finished, he raises his giant hand and adjusts the rearview mirror. So that I can see him every-so-often glaring back at us, glaring back at little Sammy. He’s old and wrinkled, his face droops heavy with skin the color of tree bark. His eyes, when they look at little Sammy, are as dark as clay. I try remembering when Dad was still alive, and what it was like when we didn’t have to live with Grandpa, but I can’t, so I close my eyes tight as I can and pray that Sammy will be okay. In the rambling wind, we all gather around him, huddling each other for comfort. And, quietly, I pray for the rest of us, even Grandpa.
by Bill Cook
Bill Cook, a Southern California native, has plied a variety of trades, including cabinet maker, carpenter, general contractor, home designer and builder, and currently is employed as a certified building inspector. He has been published in Juked, elimae, Tin Postcard Review, Right Hand Pointing, The Summerset Review, SmokeLong Quarterly and in Dzanc’s anthology Best of the Web 2009. He currently resides in a small community situated within the Sierra Pelona Mountain range.
and the streets are running out
with people and rickshaws, motorbikes (there,
four adults on a single cycle), water buffalo
stomping through traffic,
tilting their chins in response
to horns begging them to move.
The traffic slips ahead,
crawling over itself like snakes in a pit,
falters, stops to ruminate, begins again.
And a child knocks
on the window, shines her red teeth,
seeks money to buy water,
or for the man who owns her.
He’s out there, somewhere. Everything kicks
again, we move through the storm of dust.
A man leaps into a moving bus,
his plastic sandal falls
and tumbles to die upon the street. The bus keeps on,
another shoe flies
from the bus door, expelled as from a kick,
either angry, resigned, or neither.
by Kevin Eldridge
Kevin recently graduated with an MFA from Indiana University and works as an English and SAT tutor.