Issue No. 1, Summer 2012


Setting Sun (2012)
Ariane Ramirez

Amber Afternoon
Philipp W. Aurand

Sunstar
mid afternoon
suspended
arranged just over the cityscape
visible now and again
past the tall concrete buildings
deep and grey
cool shadows set upon the streets
stenciled by hot rays
filtered dirty peach and amber by smog
the rusty orange solar mood briefly interpreted
through the multihued reflections
on surfaces textured or smooth
through layers of automobiles
static or in motion
the throngs wading to and fro
marbled by swirling degrees of heat and wind
animating the urban grid
on a warm afternoon
out of focus and grainy with heat
and the possibility of evening


Philipp W. Aurand lives in Seattle, WA. When he’s not tending bar he enjoys painting on found objects, studying Spanish and letting poems find him. His work has appeared in Kweli Journal and OVS Magazine.

Ariane Ramirez is a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Inspired by her brother, she is currently pursuing a B.A. in Special Education (because special people are a hundred times more awesome than so-called “normal” individuals). She is a mom, a hardcore procrastinator, pessimist, and overall just a tiny, angry black storm cloud in combat boots. She is mesmerized by the cosmos and spellbound by violin songs. She’d also like to point out that she is not a real artist, but enjoys pretending to be one in her spare time. Some of her obsessions include video games, skulls, owls, and cheese. Visit her: http://www.celestial-void.com

Issue No. 1, Summer 2012

Snow White’s Math Problem

If seven dwarves each own
seven shirts, seven pairs of socks,
seven pairs of pants, and
seven pairs of boxers,
then how much money does
Snow White have to pay
for laundry, so she
can hang out in the forest
with friends, smoking
and reading cheap magazines?

* * *

Prince Charming

He was a Buddhist,
riding his meditation,
the horse’s hooves his mantra.
He breathed in rhythm with the trees.

The princess was an illusion.
The kiss a metaphor
for what he did not know.

And he, like others before him,
knew that where the story ends
is actually its beginning.


Susan Scheid is part of the thriving poetry community in Washington, DC. She tends to have an eye (and an ear) for the quirky and unusual; and she tries to find a way to include them in her writing. She grew up listening to poetry and to fairy tales and her favorite moments are the ones where she was squirreled away with her copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. She has had work published in The Unrorean, Bark!, Bark Two, Tidal Basin Review, and Poetic Art. She has worked in collaboration with a visual artist and her poems have been featured in several art pieces. She is currently working on a book manuscript in collaboration with her sister, which features her fairy tale poems as well as watercolor illustrations of several of the works. This summer she will be one of six Artists in Residence at the Noyes School of Rhythm in Connecticut.

Issue No. 1, Summer 2012

The Silence of the Siren

“Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence. And though admittedly such a thing never happened, it is still conceivable that someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence certainly never.” – Franz Kafka

She’s got no fins, no tail either.
Just that mouth, red cherry halves split
into hearts. Just that set of lungs that
let her breathe under this teeming
sea of men who come

to the dance floor, sway and bow
before her feet, worship those tiny
white toes peeking from leather,
kiss those arches planted
on knifed heels. What comes

out of those lungs isn’t music,
isn’t sound. You can’t call it song.
That’s too worldly, too solid, too plain.
It’s breath, life blood, spilled out for coin.
Years ago, she came

from a different ocean, drowning
for attention, adoration, love.
Now, she wiggles her hips, lets a
slip of white thigh surface beneath
her glittered green dress. Come

dry land or high water, she’s made it
till closing time, that long dark walk
to the back row, where she puts her feet
on the back of a chair, begins that long
slow process of coming

down. Cigarette. Lighter. Soaking her
tongue in a straight glass of gin
until it’s so numb it can’t remember
the words. In the rest, the silence,
she becomes.

* * *

Tangled

I understand a little something about hair; the way it catches light, effulgent,
diffident, indulgent. Big words for nothing more than dead strands of sorrow.

Why else cut them, all the time? I shed my locks every seven and a half days to rise from the burial chair, reborn into plaits and streams.

I like the way you look at me.

It doesn’t last. Dig me up in a hundred years and there will be an alabaster cage of rib and shin, the bowl of pelvis, maybe a thin bit of pinky bearing silver circles.

You want something that’s forever? Love the thick of my femur, the process of calcification. Love the edgeway of my inner ear bone, how it resonates

with crow cries. Kiss the edges of my finger bones, the dimpled hollows of my sockets. The soul is a slippery thing, as soft and fine as down.

Golden scales are not enough. Asps bear no bones to remember them by.
Enough of anything can kill you while I sleep. It’s the teeth you want,
in the end.


Shanna Germain’s stories, poems and essays have appeared in places like Absinthe Literary Review, Best American Erotica, Best Erotic Romance, Pank, Storyglossia, and more.

Issue No. 1, Summer 2012

Written on the Reverse of an Antique Gospel
Devon Miller-Duggan

I.
When they reached the foot of the mountain,
the road unrolled itself–
florescent green
ribboning over the blue grass
between thirteen darkly purple trees
and the piles of leaves
sighing around their roots.

II.
The cloud crept down after them,
hooking itself to the end of the road
so that, as the road rolled up behind,
the cloud followed.

III.
At the first stream,
the prince emptied his boots of the grey
dust of the mountain,
turning the water red.

IV.
The maiden’s lavender hair
hummed the music to the words
printed on the skin of her ear
at birth.

V.
At the first bridge the maiden
cut one lock of her hair.

VI.
At the castle, the women
wove the brocade,
pricking their fingers
before shuttling each thirteenth thread
to be sure the cloth would know the route
through the wedding ring.

VII.
The king never slept.
The queen never woke.
The doctor sewed his own wounds
over and over.

VIII.
The wound in the maiden’s fist
stopped bleeding at the thirteenth bridge.
dropped over the side of the bridge upstream,
the bandage became a copper fish.

IX.
The king unbraided his beard,
and the white snake
slid along the blue stone floors.
each of the rushlights dimmed as it passed.

X.
Pale pink flowers sprang up through the snow
in a carpet the shape of a child.
The snake went blind.
The queen shivered in her sleep.
The king shut his eyes.

XI.
There was a bridge at the fourteenth ford,
but the copper trout was waiting
to carry the travelers across.

XII.
The white snake tied itself
into a turk’s-head knot.
The page picked up the silver knot
winking from the floor in the morning light,
strung it on his belt for a buckle.
Later, the cook noticed
his fingernails.

XII.
He watched the maiden’s braid
swing against her knees.
The gown she had stolen from the bird
slid from one shoulder.
The moon curved its light
over one shoulder blade.
His hand followed.

XIII.
Deep in the walls of the castle,
the king’s cry seeps into the mortar.
The cloud comes for him.


Devon Miller-Duggan has had poems in Rattle, Shenandoah, Margie, Christianity and Literature, The Indiana Review, Harpur Palate, The Hollins Critic, and a longish list of really little magazines. She’s won an Academy of American Poets Prize, a fellowship from the Delaware Division of the Arts, an editor’s prize in Margie, and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She teaches for the Department of English at the University of Delaware. Her first book, Pinning the Bird to the Wall, appeared from Tres Chicas Books in November 2008.

Issue No. 1, Summer 2012


Primavera (2012)
Ariane Ramirez

Eurydice in the Morning
Valentina Cano

She stopped running.
Her legs trembled
as her muscles locked shut,
a groan of metallic sinew
pulling tight.
There was nothing to do
but gaze out at the land
she wouldn’t reach,
the fields of flowers
bowing in the morning,
as her body calcified
there in the sun.
A pillar of doubt.
A tower of ifs.


Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time either writing or reading. Her works have appeared in Exercise Bowler, Blinking Cursor, Theory Train, Cartier Street Press, Berg Gasse 19, Precious Metals, A Handful of Dust, The Scarlet Sound, The Adroit Journal, Perceptions Literary Magazine, Welcome to Wherever, The Corner Club Press, Death Rattle, Danse Macabre, Subliminal Interiors, Generations Literary Journal, Super Poetry Highway, Stream Press, Stone Telling, Popshot, Golden Sparrow Literary Review, Rem Magazine, Structo, The 22 Magazine, The Black Fox Literary Magazine, Niteblade, Tuck Magazine, Ontologica, Congruent Spaces Magazine, Pipe Dream, Decades Review, Anatomy, Lowestof Chronicle, Muddy River Poetry Review, Lady Ink Magazine, White Masquerade Anthology, and Perhaps I’m Wrong About the World. You can find her here: http://carabosseslibrary.blogspot.com

Ariane Ramirez is a student at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Inspired by her brother, she is currently pursuing a B.A. in Special Education (because special people are a hundred times more awesome than so-called “normal” individuals). She is a mom, a hardcore procrastinator, pessimist, and overall just a tiny, angry black storm cloud in combat boots. She is mesmerized by the cosmos and spellbound by violin songs. She’d also like to point out that she is not a real artist, but enjoys pretending to be one in her spare time. Some of her obsessions include video games, skulls, owls, and cheese. Visit her: http://www.celestial-void.com

Issue No. 1, Summer 2012


Untitled #3 (2012)
Melyssa Anishnabie

CRIMSON ENDS
Jennifer Givhan

So much depends upon
red

Shadows fall like leaves across
our bed. Your eyes glaze
with doubt like rainwater. Still, you murmur
our ritual, a bedtime story: Sparkle
radiant woman, not ash
but fire. Keep forging us.

Can you read me by starlight?
I crackle crimson, a dancing crescent
moon, whirling arms & bangled wrists,
shooting prayers into the night.
Don’t let go. I’d slip into cracks
you couldn’t follow.

My cycles spin on all that came before
and what might never come at all.
Love & nothing more.
Each beginning marks an end:
an unshelled snail, a ghost,
a hollow, whispering

in the heart of all that’s gone
and won’t return.
You are my cooling brine, slaking
as I burn, again & again;
October leaves
its red cloak on our porch.


Jennifer Givhan was a 2010 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, as well as a finalist in the 2011 St. Lawrence Book Award Contest through Black Lawrence Press. Her work has appeared in over forty journals, including Rattle, The Los Angeles Review, Crab Creek Review, The Mayo Review, Blood Lotus, and The Southwestern Review. She teaches composition at The University of New Mexico.

Melyssa Anishnabie is a self-taught artist and amateur photographer with a slight fetish for gauze, bones and rusty things. She calls Toronto home, where she lives with 4 cats, 2 dogs and the occassional wayward pigeon. Don’t worry, she won’t catch bird flu.

Her favorite activities are sleeping, canoeing, exploring abandoned places with her camera, playing World of Warcraft (horde ftw) and of course creating in both digital and traditional mediums.

She supports her pets and her art by working as a photo editor and by pretending to be really cool people on tv.

Feature, Issue No. 1, Summer 2012


Snow White (2011)
Deborah Scott

Rapunzel Makes Her Way Out Into the World
Jeannine Hall Gailey

So Nice to See You, they said
but it wasn’t nice. I was blinded by thorn-clouds
and desert sand. I cut off all my hair.
I spent years feeling everything with my hands
to know things as they really are.
No more blindness by beauty. Now, you see me,
and my eyes are light as storm clouds in the dust.
You sing to me but it seems I am stuck in a tower.
I’m not waiting. The garden will grow high enough
for me to climb out and attack. I will ride wild
through other people’s gardens. I will sow
seeds of magic-haired infants. You will know them
by the sorrow in their eyes, the dust of their skin.
They will dissolve in your clenched fists.
Like me. So nice, they said, but it was really never true.


Jeannine Hall Gailey is the Seattle-area author of Becoming the Villainess (Steel Toe Books, 2006) and She Returns to the Floating World (Kitsune Books, 2011), an Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist for 2012. Her third book, Unexplained Fevers, due out from Kitsune Books in late 2013, is a collaborative book of poetry and art that explores the inner lives of fairy tale characters. Her work has been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She reviews poetry books for The Rumpus. Her poems have appeared in journals like The Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. She volunteers for Crab Creek Review and currently teaches at the MFA program at National University. Her web site is www.webbish6.com.

Deborah Scott, a graduate of the Drawing and Painting Atelier at Gage Academy of Art, lives with her husband and two children in Seattle, WA. Prior to Scott’s painting career she worked as a global brand marketer with familiar brands including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, and Amazon.com. Scott’s work is unique, contemporary and whimsical and it can be seen in a wide range of national venues including 2012 Contemporary Realism Biennial at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, WA, the Hive Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Susan Eley Fine Arts in New York, NY. www.deborahkscott.com

Feature, Issue No. 1, Summer 2012


Without a Sound (2012)
Deborah Scott

The Mermaid Loses Her Voice
Jeannine Hall Gailey

I don’t know what they told you, but it wasn’t for love.
I was the disobedient daughter, the one who couldn’t bear
a life on the waves. I wanted to be something new.

If I wanted a new body, here was the price.
Long legs for a selkie’s songs. I was tired of mystery,
wanted to wander land-bound for once.

The prince was merely an interlude. I was lonely.
I let him carve a portrait of me into stone.
But I had no interest in staying still for him.

Men loved me for my body, so unavailable, unassailable….
they tried to catch me in nets. Now I’m one more
long-haired lass in low-cut jeans in a tavern, listening to them

boast about conquering the sea. But I am the sea.
Every night it tosses me about in my dreams.
My lips taste saltwater instead of wine.

I wake up strangled by the smell of seaweed.
Still I straggle on the rocks like I’m waiting to be swept
up again. They wait for me, my sisters, on the sea foam,

waiting for me to join them, my inevitable trip home.


Jeannine Hall Gailey is the Seattle-area author of Becoming the Villainess (Steel Toe Books, 2006) and She Returns to the Floating World (Kitsune Books, 2011), an Eric Hoffer Montaigne Medal finalist for 2012. Her third book, Unexplained Fevers, due out from Kitsune Books in late 2013, is a collaborative book of poetry and art that explores the inner lives of fairy tale characters. Her work has been featured on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, and in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. She reviews poetry books for The Rumpus. Her poems have appeared in journals like The Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, and Prairie Schooner. She volunteers for Crab Creek Review and currently teaches at the MFA program at National University. Her web site is www.webbish6.com.

Deborah Scott, a graduate of the Drawing and Painting Atelier at Gage Academy of Art, lives with her husband and two children in Seattle, WA. Prior to Scott’s painting career she worked as a global brand marketer with familiar brands including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, and Amazon.com. Scott’s work is unique, contemporary and whimsical and it can be seen in a wide range of national venues including 2012 Contemporary Realism Biennial at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle, WA, the Hive Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Susan Eley Fine Arts in New York, NY. www.deborahkscott.com

Issue No. 1, Summer 2012

dead ophelia society

I am a society of one, unless you count the flowers.
I watched myself as if through glass plucking the petals off of trinity lilies—
there are only three, and instead of
father, son and holy ghost
or even me, myself and I,
I counted them off,
slowly, listening for the pop
of weak limbs leaving their mortal coil
and breathed, evenly, their names as
First, Last and Always.
It is pointless to ask if he loves me or loves me not
because if you have to ask,
the answer is no.

My society of one is a society of used up petals.
We bloom in springtime— April is a nasty trick
to make us forget we exist in the midst of our own dying.
First kiss a sweet sixteen
last breath a fallen frond
always dust to dust,
the wreckage of one blossom
becomes food for the one who replaces her.

It is a veritable smorgasboard of decay,
The arms of flowers splayed on the ground,
Golgotha boneyard,
like so many dust particles, ashes,
cast onto uncaring winds. They travel,
but never too far downriver.
That is for funerary processions and charnel posies.

The society is about to come to order.
As president of the Dead Ophelia Society, I don my
tiara of damask roses, trinity lilies;
cross my arms over my breasts, left and right.
first I breathe an underwater sigh of relief
last I breathe the water tasting of algae and lilypads
always I float the river to its destiny, like death, the ocean.

* * *

Plath cut her finger

and I, (never to be outdone) did too

but there was no epiphany,
just blood swooning down my wrist
despite my awkward attempts
to stem back the flow.

That small wound littered with strawberry seeds
a dull cold as I forced the blade through obstinately frozen berries
then my fingertip.
I waited for the rapture and instead
just felt clumsy, blood making me woozy in the head,

Is that a revelation or just a cut?


Allie Marini Batts came here to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and she’s ALL out of bubblegum. She is an alumna of New College of Florida,meaning she can explain deconstructionism, but cannot perform simple math. Her work has appeared in over eighty literary magazines that her family hasn’t heard of. She lives in Tallahassee, because it has the best trees to climb, and conveniently, that’s where her husband lives, too. She is a research writer and is pursuing her MFA degree in Creative Writing through Antioch University Los Angeles….oh no! it’s getting away! To read more of her work and thoughts on “process,” visit http://www.kiddeternity.wordpress.com, or to read her book reviews and literary blogging, visit Bookshelf Bombshells at http://bookshelfbombshells.com.

Issue No. 1, Summer 2012


Earthquake (2012)
Eleanor Leonne Bennett

The Snow Queen
Adrienne Clarke

I see you through the window pane; your white face illuminated while everything else is dark and strange. The red has fallen from our roses and the trees shiver in their nakedness.

Snowflakes fall softly on your hair like white flowers. I reach out to touch one, but my hand meets glass, hard and cold beneath my fingertips. Behind the clear walls of my prison I watch the roses come back to your cheeks, and the trees burst into green.

My too warm breath fogs the window, obscuring your face. The hot pennies of your fairy tale rain down on me; I take one in my hand and press it against the glass. My peep hole into your world of spring.

It is cold here on the other side, but thoughts of you warm me until I do not mind the icy wind that tears at my skin, or the snow that falls across my mind.

You are in your world and I am in mine. But still I long to break the glass, gather armfuls of snowflakes – each one perfect, unique – and lay them at your feet.


Adrienne Clarke has previously published short stories in The Storyteller, Beginnings Magazine, New Plains Review, and in the e-zines A Fly in Amber, Grim Graffiti, Les Bonnes Fees, The Altruist, and The Devilfish Review. Her short story, “Falling,” was awarded second place in the 2008 Alice Monroe short fiction contest. Adrienne’s first novel, To Dance in Liradon, will be published in September 2012 by Soul Mate Press.

Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16-year-old internationally award-winning photographer and artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography, Papworth Trust, Mencap, The Woodland Trust and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in The Telegraph, The Guardian, the BBC News website and on the cover of books and magazines in the United states and Canada. Her art is globally exhibited, having shown work in London, Paris, Indonesia, Los Angeles, Florida, Washington, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, Australia and The Environmental Photographer of the Year Exhibition (2011) amongst many other locations. She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run. See The Bigger Picture global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.