Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

from Pepper the Yard with Light
Matthew Porubsky

l.

 
 
 

So many
maybes
everything becomes blue.

The guards are like trees,

feathered- together
branches
out holding
to the meadow.

Sing
to limbs old songs,
fashion
harp from sticks, Play

onces again.

The way
eyes look longer.


Matthew Porubsky lives in Topeka, Kansas and works as a freight conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad. He has three collections of poetry, voyeur poems, Fire Mobile (The Pregnancy Sonnets) and forthcoming from Kelsay Books, Ruled by Pluto. His poetry has been featured in RHINO, Quiditty, The Journal (UK), {HOOT} and elimae. Visit mppoetry.com for more info.

Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

Bearing Witness
Susan Rooke

I hold still and quiet,
listening. The world
has stopped. Silence
black and heavy
as a raven drops

into a treetop, and
the nude branches sag
low. Bright flakes
of golden leaves lie
dead in bronze grass.

I am on a slow road,
a pilgrim leaving winter,
the ground beneath grown
stiff in its restraint.
Silence lifts, clears

the treetops as it wings
away. I wonder what
I would have seen
if it had stayed.
Silence will eat anything.


Susan Rooke is a Pushcart-nominated writer living in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming on Austin Capital Metro buses, as well as in Poemeleon, Solo Novo, Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine, and San Pedro River Review. She has completed the first novel of her fantasy series, The Space Between, and is at work on the second. She has resolved to finally secure her own website in 2013.

Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

Your Back to the Forest
Susan Rooke

All day and through the falling
silver dusk, fog steals across
the yard, which grows cryptically
as perception shrinks. Out in it

all at once you find yourself,
imagining you heard the smooth
white pebbles of your name dropped
into the mist. Water wrung

from the wet sky begins to patter,
taps you on your shoulders, your head.
The tree trunks are honeyed
with drizzle, scaled and slick

as chicken legs, like the dark piers
of Baba Yaga’s hut, which is certain
to be dancing in the canopy above.
The lips of archetype moisten, whisper

in your ears the tale of these woods,
coaxing you forward, while fog shrouds
the path behind. Ahead you see
the dripping windows of a cottage

you never knew was there, a flick
of shadow across the panes. Was that
a face just drawn back from sight?
Or was it breath condensed, a word

murmured behind the glass? It’s then
you realize you hear your house
behind you, urgent, muttering
instructions for your safe return.

Your back to the forest! Your face to me!


Susan Rooke is a Pushcart-nominated writer living in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming on Austin Capital Metro buses, as well as in Poemeleon, Solo Novo, Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine, and San Pedro River Review. She has completed the first novel of her fantasy series, The Space Between, and is at work on the second. She has resolved to finally secure her own website in 2013.

Feature: Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

Antifragile
Antifragile
Stella Rothe

Lorelei After the Divorce
Amber Decker

The shipwrecked corpse of her marriage is still fresh, perfect
white pearls of her pubic bones left hot and skipping.
She is a shimmery shadow at the bar,
rosary of a drink in her hand,
slender as a swan’s delicate neck.
A dead man cannot dance
with other women
, she says, her eyes hard as seashells
as the lazy bones of morning crack the eastern sky.
The desperate ones dash themselves apart
on the rocks of her breasts, and the fish are pleased
to share her meals, to dance their quicksilver selves through
her summer wreckage, those last gasps
for air little bubbles of goodbye
the waves break
to bits.


Amber Decker is the author of two volumes of poetry, Sweet Relish and Lost Girls. Her work has been featured internationally in venues both in print and online. In her spare time, she can either be found at the gym or parked in front of her Playstation. Amber spends her days disguising herself as a diligent student of English literature; she lives in West Virginia with a spoiled dog and an evil cat.

Stella Rothe is 26 and currently studying English and philosophy in Rochester, Michigan. Her photography and writing has most recently been published in Ceremony, Pink Panther Magazine, Nain Rouge, and BAC Street Journal.

Feature: Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

Untitled, Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz
Untitled
Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz

Sailor’s Warning
Amber Decker

Even awake,
staring up at the orange halo of a round summer moon,
he does not know what exactly he was hoping to find
inside the eyes of a girl who smelled of oceans,
the salt and the sand,
the abandoned coastlines, deserted islands, the tiny shells spinning
in their sea floor beds.

In his dream, the dry season arrives like a sudden storm. It is selfish
and takes what it can from the ground, from the trees.
It leaves behind the husks of fruit,
swarms of dead and withered flowers.

In his dream, he becomes a seagull scuttling
across a hurricane sky, green and wild with lightning strikes.
The deadly water churns and spits,
waiting like a scavenger to pick his small bones clean.

In his dream he wonders, wisely, what he is flying into.


Amber Decker is the author of two volumes of poetry, Sweet Relish and Lost Girls. Her work has been featured internationally in venues both in print and online. In her spare time, she can either be found at the gym or parked in front of her Playstation. Amber spends her days disguising herself as a diligent student of English literature; she lives in West Virginia with a spoiled dog and an evil cat.

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz writes stories, takes pictures and makes teddy bears by hand.

Feature: Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

Wading (Self-Portrait)
Wading (Self-Portrait)
Stella Rothe

The Selkie Laments
Amber Decker

At dusk, townsfolk flock like nervous geese
to the red womb of the tavern
to whisper of my unraveling.
I am the ghost of the river–
white dress puddled at my ankles,
hair wet and dark
as driftwood,
unbuttoned from my skin,
seal-slick.
I fall naked into summery water,
calves rising from the suck of the current,
a wet and eager mouth
tugging me apart at the seams.
Here, I hover alone in the blue forever–
unused to the world, the people in the world–
the ways in which most will vanish
with a simple word or touch
unexpected as a gentle rain.
Time and again, the hungry earth calls me back,
beckons like the moon coaxes the tide to shore
with its breathless siren song.
Our hearts all sip at that dark place,
thirsty and aching for touch, for warmth
and the deep red pluck of love.
Perhaps this is what reminds us
to wear our skins for awhile,
to be human.


Amber Decker is the author of two volumes of poetry, Sweet Relish and Lost Girls. Her work has been featured internationally in venues both in print and online. In her spare time, she can either be found at the gym or parked in front of her Playstation. Amber spends her days disguising herself as a diligent student of English literature; she lives in West Virginia with a spoiled dog and an evil cat.

Stella Rothe is 26 and currently studying English and philosophy in Rochester, Michigan. Her photography and writing has most recently been published in Ceremony, Pink Panther Magazine, Nain Rouge, and BAC Street Journal.

About the Contributors

Untitled #1, Mary Moser
Untitled #1
Mary Moser

Edward Ahern resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. Original wife, but after 45 years they are both out of warranty.

Marci Ameluxen lives on an island in Washington State with her husband and two children. When not taming her garden or writing poetry she works as a pediatric occupational therapist.

The poems selected for Rose Red Review are excerpted from her chapbook “Lean House” from MoonPath Press, spring 2013. Marci’s poems have appeared in The Crab Creek Review, The Comstock Review, Waccamaw, Passager, The Compass Rose and Hospital Drive among others.

Natalia Andrievskikh is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at Binghamton University. She grew up in a little provincial town in Russia reading tons of books and writing poems and children’s stories. After teaching English and literary analysis for two years at a local university, she won a Fulbright grant to study in the US. Natalia has taught literature courses at Binghamton University, published poems and essays, and served as Managing Editor of the literary journal The Broome Review. She likes fairy-tales, art house films, dancing, hazelnut chocolate, fashion shows, and black tea with lemon served in a tall glass with a traditional brass glass-holder (they serve tea like this on Russian trains, so it has the tingling flavor of travel).

Kendall A. Bell is the founder and co-editor of the online journal Chantarelle’s Notebook and publisher and editor of the chapbook press Maverick Duck Press. His poems have appeared in several print and online journals such as Edison Literary Review, Sunken Lines, The Barefoot Muse, Thick With Conviction, Zygote In My Coffee, Drown In My Own Fears, Scythe, Decompression, Flutter, Downer Magazine, and Up The Staircase.

Laura Chitlon has always loved to write, particularly stories inspired by sentimental fiction and fairy tales.

Louie Crew is an emeritus professor at Rutgers. Editors have published 2,226 of his manuscripts. His photography has appeared in recent issues of Rose Red Review, Meadowland Review, and The Living Church.

Jessica Cuello is a poet and French teacher in Central NY. Her first chapbook, an autobiographic poem cycle about scientist Marie Curie, came out in 2011 from Kattywompus Press. Her poems have appeared in such journals as RHINO, Tampa Review, and Copper Nickel.

Amber Decker is the author of two volumes of poetry, Sweet Relish and Lost Girls. Her work has been featured internationally in venues both in print and online. In her spare time, she can either be found at the gym or parked in front of her Playstation. Amber spends her days disguising herself as a diligent student of English literature; she lives in West Virginia with a spoiled dog and an evil cat.

E.A. Fow writes and paints in Brooklyn, NY. She currently has stories currently online at Penduline and Fiction 365 and Luna Station Quarterly and forthcoming in anthologies from Imagination and Place Press, Fiction Attic Press, and Green Gecko Publishing.

Mike Hancock is a former hunting guide and commercial fisherman. He spent seven years guiding elk, deer, and bear hunters in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and New Mexico. Prior to that he was a deckhand for two seasons aboard a factory trawler in Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Now living in Wewoka, Oklahoma, he is an Adjunct Professor of English and a
freelance writer. He holds a B.A. in English Literature and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University.

“Flowers” is an excerpt from his forthcoming novel, “Fallen.” This is a story of fathers and sons and of emotional bonds that transcend culture and time. Set in the looming mountains of Northwest Montana in 1870 and 1997, the novel chronicles the lives of Grey Bear, a distraught Piegan warrior in the aftermath of the Marias Massacre, and Calvin, a tortured young hunting guide, as they endure hardships and abuse, both seeking redemption in an untamed wilderness.

Tom Hutt is a Master of Liberal Arts student at the University of Pennsylvania. His poetry has recently appeared in the Orange Room Review and his short fiction will appear in the May issue of Jersey Devil Press. He lives happily ever after in Philadelphia with his wife, two children, and Cocker Spaniel.

Glenn Johnson is a member of the Cherokee Nation. He is a father and a widow. He has lived in Tucson, Arizona for 56 years. He is a retired Marriage & Family Therapist.

Noeleen Kavanagh is an Irish writer currently living and working in Shanghai, China. Her publications include short stories in the Silver Blade, Another Realm, Moon Drenched Fables, Aurora Wolf, Swords and Sorcery, Misfit Magazine, Sorcerous Submissions, Fantasy Short Stories, Fiction on the Web, Aoife’s Kiss and the Luna Station Quarterly. She also has short stories in the print anthologies Dream and Screams and A Pint and a Haircut.

Clyde Kessler lives in Radford, Virginia with his wife Kendall and their son Alan.

Cheryl Diane Kidder has a B.A. in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in: Cutthroat Magazine, Weber–The Contemporary West, Bound Off, Brevity Magazine, Pembroke Magazine, Dogzplot, Watercress Journal, Jersey Devil Press, The Northville Review, JMWW, Cobalt, Identity Theory, Map Literary, The Atticus Review, The New Purlieu Review, Eclectica, Word Riot, In Posse Review, The Reed, Clackamas Literary Review and elsewhere. Her blog is: TrueWest and she is at Poets & Writers here.

Miranda Lloyd is a fantasy and horror writer whose first story was penned at the age of five. She spent two years in Alaska before finding it too cold for her tastes, and moved back to her native Arizona. She is also a watercolor painter and digital illustrator.

Sara E. Lundberg is a Kansas-grown writer of the urban fantasy persuasion. She is an editor and contributor for the Confabulator Cafe, a website that she helped create, where she writes monthly flash fiction: confabulatorcafe.com.

Felix Maple is a professional geographer living in Paris, France. He was a volunteer paramedic for a while. He is British but has been living in France most of his life which is confusing to him. He teaches geography at the University of Paris 8 (Vincennes – Saint Denis) and writes poetry whenever he can. He has work forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal and Eunoia Review. His blog is at: felix-maple.blogspot.fr

Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz writes stories, takes pictures and makes teddy bears by hand.

Floral photography has always been a hobby for Mary Moser. She has been taking pictures for a while now for friends and family and wanted to expand to different venues.

Matthew Porubsky lives in Topeka, Kansas and works as a freight conductor for the Union Pacific Railroad. He has three collections of poetry, voyeur poems, Fire Mobile (The Pregnancy Sonnets) and forthcoming from Kelsay Books, Ruled by Pluto. His poetry has been featured in RHINO, Quiditty, The Journal (UK), {HOOT} and elimae. Visit mppoetry.com for more info.

L.C. Ricardo is a mother and aspiring writer living in Florida. She has published poems and articles in The Sandhill Review, Mirror Dance, Bolts of Silk, Enchanted Conversation, and Poppy Road Review and is forthcoming in Goblin Fruit. She has received an honorable mention for the 2013 Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction Short Stories category for her short story “The Debt,” which has been published in digital format here, with hard copy publication soon to follow.

Susan Rooke is a Pushcart-nominated writer living in Austin, Texas. Her work has appeared recently or is forthcoming on Austin Capital Metro buses, as well as in Poemeleon, Solo Novo, Pulse: voices from the heart of medicine, and San Pedro River Review. She has completed the first novel of her fantasy series, The Space Between, and is at work on the second. She has resolved to finally secure her own website in 2013.

Stella Rothe is 26 and currently studying English and philosophy in Rochester, Michigan. Her photography and writing has most recently been published in Ceremony, Pink Panther Magazine, Nain Rouge, and BAC Street Journal.

Shawn Salik has poetry currently published with Haiku Journal. He is in his third year of studies at the University of Toronto majoring in History and English. He strives for innovation, particularity, and perspective throughout his work. Concerning the core, contemporary societal issues, Shawn brings an interesting, and critical outlook on people, life, and behaviours through a keen focus on voice/persona.

John W. Sexton lives in the Republic of Ireland. He was born in 1958 and is the author of four previous poetry collections, the most recent being Vortex (Doghouse, 2005) and Petit Mal (Revival Press 2009). His fifth collection, The Offspring of the Moon, is due from Salmon Poetry in 2013. In 2007, his poem “The Green Owl” won the Listowel Poetry Prize; in that same year he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.

Stone Showers has recently had pieces accepted for publication in the Love Hurts Anthology, as well as Spark: A Creative Anthology.

Beate Sigriddaughter, sigriddaughter.com, lives and writes in North Vancouver, Canada. Three times a Pushcart Prize nominee for her own writing, she has also established the Glass Woman Prize to honor passionate women’s voices. Currently she is working on a novel called “Tango.”

Jan Stinchcomb lives in a purple house in Austin, Texas with her husband and daughters. Her work has appeared in PANK online, Luna Station Quarterly, and The Red Penny Papers, among other places. Her novella, Find the Girl, is forthcoming from Main Street Rag Press. Visit her at janstinchcomb.com

Sanchari Sur is a Bengali Canadian who was born in Calcutta, India. A graduate student of Gender Studies at Queen’s University, Kingston, she is currently working on her first novel tentatively titled, Blood Red Sky. Her photography, poetry, and short fiction have been published or are forthcoming in Map Literary, Barely South Review, Red River Review, nthposition, Pyrta and elsewhere. Her short story, “Those Sri Lankan Boys,” was selected to be a part of Diaspora Dialogues Youth Mentoring Program in Toronto in 2011. She blogs at sursanchari.wordpress.com.

Brittany Warman is a PhD student in English and Folklore at The Ohio State University where her work focuses mainly on fairy tale retellings. She has had creative work published in Jabberwocky Magazine, Cabinet des Fées, inkscrawl, Eternal Haunted Summer, Mirror Dance, Scareship, and others. Her website is BrittanyWarman.com and she journals at Briarspell.livejournal.com.

Elizabeth Warren

Steven L. Wilson is a 2011 graduate of Clarion West Writer’s Workshop and an active member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. His short stories have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Lightspeed Magazine.

Laura Madeline Wiseman has a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she teaches. She is the author of seven collections of poetry, including Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012) and Unclose the Door (Gold Quoin Press, 2012). She is also the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Blue Light Press), forthcoming. Her writings have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Margie, Arts & Letters, Poet Lore, and Feminist Studies. She has received awards from the Academy of American Poets and Mari Sandoz/Prairie Schooner, and grants from the Center for the Great Plains Studies and the Wurlitzer Foundation. lauramadelinewiseman.com

Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

Paper Snow: A Memory
Stella Rothe

Everyone swore that the house was haunted: everyone being my mother, my father, and me at four years old. The house was more of a mansion, sprawling with rooms that my young eyes were eager to explore and touch. It had pink walls and a white balcony where there was always snow. Come winter, summer, fall, or spring, that snow would always be there in one massive, feathery pile.

Inside the place, there was a confusion of furniture and knick-knacks, all a-clutter across the floors and through the halls. There was a working, free-standing bathtub that my father and I filled with bubble soap to make the water foamy.

The third-floor closet was where the haunting occurred. Every night I would hear a knocking sound, followed by my dad’s hushed words: “The ghost is here” – his gentle Oxford accent with the German trace sounding like music to my ears. In delight and expectation I tiptoed to my bedroom, knocked on the door, and was admitted by candlelight. The knocking noise continued and we hunted the house, pretending not to know where the sound was coming from, but both knowing very well. It was the same each time: my father led me to the closet in the third-floor bedroom. He would throw open the tiny door and there, always, hovered a spirit cast in white and reflecting the candle’s flame.

I always screamed – that was part of the fun – and I really did have shivers down my arms, but I liked that ghost. He was friendly. All he wanted was to escape the closet, but we always shut the door too fast for him to emerge. My eyes would stray to the balcony where the eternal snow stood in its heap, and I always had the same request: “Daddy, make it snow.”

And he did. My father, all candlelit and golden, brought his giant bag of paper snow to the balcony and shook down its feathery contents. Every month the mound grew larger and larger, spilling onto the green carpet below. Oh, how I loved my dollhouse with its eternal snow and midnight ghost!

When my mother and I left for America, my father stayed behind with the memories and the dollhouse, the cotton ghost still locked in the closet and the paper snow still on the balcony. I heard that the dollhouse stayed in my father’s room until it fell apart one day: just broke into pieces and collapsed. I never saw the ghost again, and the eternal snow was swept away by an imaginary wind. The house was not fixable. My father broke down with it.

Nothing was ever quite the same after that.


Stella Rothe is 26 and currently studying English and philosophy in Rochester, Michigan. Her photography and writing has most recently been published in Ceremony, Pink Panther Magazine, Nain Rouge, and BAC Street Journal.

Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

Ghost technology
Kendall A. Bell

She’s starting to figure out how to
use technology. I’m getting one
sentence e-mails on the hour. She has
somehow created a Twitter account and
is following Walt Whitman, John Keats
and Emily Dickinson while tweeting
words of comfort and seduction to me.
She has friend requested me on Facebook
and I’m getting texts from her constantly,
even after I’ve put my phone in silent mode.
In the basement, I hear the whirring of my
old laptop that was supposed to be dead.
When I lift the cover, the screen saver
scrolls the words, “Sleep well, my sweet.”


Kendall A. Bell is the founder and co-editor of the online journal Chantarelle’s Notebook and publisher and editor of the chapbook press Maverick Duck Press. His poems have appeared in several print and online journals such as Edison Literary Review, Sunken Lines, The Barefoot Muse, Thick With Conviction, Zygote In My Coffee, Drown In My Own Fears, Scythe, Decompression, Flutter, Downer Magazine, and Up The Staircase.

Issue No. 4, Spring 2013

A Game Against Time: II
Natalia Andrievskikh

But I am a knot of branches with twisted emaciated wrists. My toes long and black, digging into the dry dust. I couldn’t possibly tell you what’s wrong, all is quiet and calm around but for that woman sifting sandflour between her fingers, whispering tales from her memory. A teaspoon of this, a handful of that. An ancient curse that stiffens the springs, turns water into a gray crust on the bottom. The wooden ladle she stirs her tales with has a burnt handle. Her words are stitches pinning me down to one place, hauling my nails deeper into the ground, yellow glassy eyes of nightmare birds watch me without a blink. The birds curl their claws around my bones, coughing and shifting their weight, wait for a treat. Black scribbles on a transparent canvas. To the left, a road weaves sideways, hard grooves cut through the petrified dirt. I keep an eye on it, my lids half closed.


Natalia Andrievskikh is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at Binghamton University. She grew up in a little provincial town in Russia reading tons of books and writing poems and children’s stories. After teaching English and literary analysis for two years at a local university, she won a Fulbright grant to study in the US. Natalia has taught literature courses at Binghamton University, published poems and essays, and served as Managing Editor of the literary journal The Broome Review. She likes fairy-tales, art house films, dancing, hazelnut chocolate, fashion shows, and black tea with lemon served in a tall glass with a traditional brass glass-holder (they serve tea like this on Russian trains, so it has the tingling flavor of travel).