News Item #12

Dear Writers and Readers,

The Summer 2013 issue of Rose Red Review is now live! I apologize for its delayed release; my residency at Pacific University did not yield much free time. Of note: the campus itself is the stuff of fairy tales:

Marsh Hall, Pacific University

During residency, I had coffee with the lovely Jeannine Hall Gailey, whom I featured in the first issue of Rose Red Review. (Can you believe it? The publication is now a year-old!) Her new book, Unexplained Fevers, is out now. If you enjoy her poems, please consider purchasing this wonderful collection!

Rose Red Review is currently accepting submissions for its Autumn 2013 issue. In accordance with the submission guidelines, please use Submittable. I do not accept e-mail submissions; please e-mail me only if you have questions about the publication, or if you need to withdraw a piece from your submission. Individual e-mails are occasionally lost within waves of spam. Submittable ensures your submission will be read.

In anticipation of Halloween, I would like to see a variety of themed submissions for the Autumn 2013 issue: work that concerns the dark origin of fairy tales. Your ghosts. Your goblins. Your beasts. Rattle those chains! The reading period for the Autumn 2013 issue will close August 12th, 2013.

Happy Summer, and happy reading!

Warm Regards,
Larissa Nash
Rose Red Review

Issue No. 5, Summer 2013

Rose Red, on the Occasion of her Sister’s Marriage
Sara Cleto

My sister, a second apple on one branch.
My shadow, the abnegation to my desire.
My mirror, in chiaroscuro—
The color palette divides us like a pane of glass.
You could have been me, or the other way round.

I spoke louder, ran faster, burned brighter
Because you needed me to.
The wolves of the forest do not understand
Sweet words—only movement and bared teeth.
Without me, they would have gobbled you up.

But at home, at our hearth,
I could be me, which was almost you.
We could be two apples, two shadows,
The same face rendered twice—
Once in pencils and pastels, once in ink and oil.

Our beautiful bear-prince halved us, sister.
You wanted his paws, his hands in your hair,
His pelt, his flesh to keep you warm at night.
I felt his growls shake your bones, my bones
As I lay alone in our narrow bed.

Now when I look into a mirror,
My reflection is still: there is only
One apple, quartered,
One shadow, twisted,
One Rose, withered.

Sara Cleto is currently pursuing her PhD in English at the Ohio State University. She enjoys fairy tales, coffee, and obtaining more stamps on her passport. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Cabinet des Fees, Eternal Haunted Summer, Niteblade, and others.

Issue No. 5, Summer 2013

Changming Yuan

In the open fields
Nothing, not even a wish is left
Except bare stems
Deep holes, bald twigs
But behind each closed door
Is a cozy room
private or public, full of
Colored fruits, plump seeds
And overflowing minds
As though all ready for the new school
of thought

Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Allen Qing Yuan, holds a PhD in English, tutors, and edits Poetry Pacific in Vancouver (Submissions welcome at Yuan’s poetry appears in 709 literary publications cross 26 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine, and Threepenny Review.

Issue No. 5, Summer 2013

Changming Yuan

yum-yum, you seem to
have become addicted
to this alphabet, nothing
but a plain letter
though it may sometimes
get you high, high with your skin-colour
as yellowish as the bank
of the Yangtze River, and
as young as a Yankee heart
while its sound can lead you
to the truth you are seeking, its shape
can grow into a huge yggdrasil
where your soul can perch, where
it can caw as loud as it wishes
towards the setting sun

Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Allen Qing Yuan, holds a PhD in English, tutors, and edits Poetry Pacific in Vancouver (Submissions welcome at Yuan’s poetry appears in 709 literary publications cross 26 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine, and Threepenny Review.

Issue No. 5, Summer 2013

Nancy Davenport

After an extraordinarily
complicated week,

it is nice to

open a tiny door

to a world where I

am able to move the
furniture; change it

from Deco to Victorian
in an afternoon.

Put the people away
in a box if their

faces bother

The best thing
is the ability
to shut

the door
on this

shut the

at the
of the day.

Nancy Davenport was born, raised and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area; in her lifetime she has been a legal secretary, a yoga instructor, a barista, a hamburger-chef, and has worked at the Palo Alto Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Nancy chose to seriously pursue writing to start a new life after finding herself on full disability. Her poems have appeared in issues of The Burning Grape, The Mountain Gazette, Red Fez, Twisted Tungz, Danse Macabre, The Bicycle Review, FEARLESS, Full of Crow Poetry, Turbulence Poetry, Ygdrasil, A Journal of the Poetic Arts, and has most recently been accepted for publication by Shwibily Press and Ravenous Butterflies.

Issue No. 5, Summer 2013

Moonlight Picnic
Aeia Abas

I found a spoon the size of the Empire State Building at the swap meet this morning and bought it from the vendor with the coins that jingled from my moth-eaten pockets. I visited my wife, who did not live in Ridgeway Cemetery, and told her to meet me on our rooftop at 8 PM. I set up the picnic blankets, plates, and wine; I sat there remembering her pink cheeks in the moonlight. I took the spoon and scooped the pale moon into my desperate mouth. And I swear, for one moment, I was back in her arms.

Aeia Abas, wherever she may be, commits to a life of spontaneity with her pen and forever unfilled cup. She writes for her own well-being, though happy to inspire. She can be contacted at aeiaabas(at)gmail(dot)com.

Issue No. 5, Summer 2013

Will o’ Wisp
Sandy Hiortdahl

Oh what joy in the jack’o’lantern’s leer,
My child fears rejoiced in pumpkin terrors—
Evening came and through the gloom I saw it,
Flashing its light through the glowering fog,
A will’o’wisp beckoning me onward.
Follow I did, into the creaking marsh,
Through the swampy underbrush at twilight:
Seeking the flash with its blinking Morse code.

The quick dance of bats, the cool hoot of owl,
I trudged knee-deep in the cold mud, wanting
The will’ to call me still, to make it real.
And following still, I’m too lost to know
If the blinking will’o’wisp calls me home
Or leads me more deeply to darker fate.

Sandy Hiortdahl is a recipient of the Sophie Kerr Prize and a Maryland State Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Novel. She has an M.F.A. from George Mason University and a Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming this year in Barely South Review, Eternal Haunted Summer, Alimentum Journal, OCEAN Magazine, Poetic Story/KY Story, MatterPress Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, and Nemesis.

Issue No. 5, Summer 2013

A Ballad of the Northlands
Sandi Leibowitz

seven snowflakes spun in air


took on bone,

The snow gull swept
the wide wastes
crying for the sea,
the sea

In a gale’s confusion
she crashed to earth—
took on legs, arms,
skin and hair

The snow maid wandered
a waif of the drifts
till the castle folk found her

Such blue eyes,
such cold hands,
the prince murmured
and tried to warm her

lost himself a while
in her white arms,
in the fog of her voice
that knew only songs
of the wastelands

But always she yearned
for some far thing,
sea’s salt
cloud’s kiss

One day of snow
the north wind came for her,
chanted her unmaking

skin to feathers
song to cry
bone to ice

seven snowflakes spun in air

Sandi Leibowitz’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in magazines such as Mythic Delirium, Strange Horizons, Apex, and The Golden Key. One of her poems was recently chosen by Ellen Datlow for inclusion in The Best Horror of the Year, Vol. 5. She is a native New Yorker who teaches and sings classical and early music.

Issue No. 5, Summer 2013

Nicci Mechler

She leaves the room, says the floor slants too far,
brambles cartwheel through her belly.

She’s a serious woman, afraid of falling,
always straightening herself for other people.

But when she tells me she dreamt last night
of screaming, her weight shifts slightly—
she smiles.

Nicci Mechler is a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University’s Masters of English program. Her fiction most recently appeared in Rapunzel’s Daughters. She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she writes, paints, and falls asleep with armloads of books.

Issue No. 5, Summer 2013

from Pepper the Yard with Light
Matthew Porubsky



Voice has no filter,

breath absent of smoke- ash.
Magma cools,
takes soil,
Your ear curves in
receiver width.

Aplomb of full wind.

Graspable between fingers.
Sing my song-proof,
fashion union strong.
Squeeze my hand

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 for more info.