Issue No. 10, Autumn 2014

"The Archer #1" -- Carey Blankenship
The Archer #1
Carey Blankenship

Autumn Feature, 2014
Francesca Lia Block and Beyond The Pale Motel

Fiction
Dragonsilk by Sandi Leibowitz
Thousand Eyes by Kelly Weber
The Lace in the Window by Kristi Petersen Schoonover
The Pet by Ken Poyner
Chorie: A Tragedy by J. T. Townley
The Songs of Knives by Jessica Drake-Thomas

Flash Fiction
Luna e Talia by Molly Lazer
Lost & Found by Samantha Barron

Poetry
A Ritual and Tigress by Cindy Rinne
The Sex Life of Swans by Sandy Coomer
John the Baptist, Afterward by Micki Blenkush
The Princess and the Pea by Lucy M. Logsdon
I Search in Dreams for You by Tyler L. Erlendson
Sky Scattered by Martie Ingebretsen
Dream Poem II by Steven Westbrook
The clock of the long now by Susan Shaw Sailer
Song by Sarah Sadie

"Submerged" -- Ellen Chai
Submerged #1
Ellen Chai

About the Contributors

Issue No. 10, Autumn 2014

Sky Scattered
Martie Ingebretsen

This is a memory of sky, scattered,
the sound the sun made in the air.

Slow down slow down,
for now
walk along this dream
where sand holds your foot
not quite long enough to drown.

I could see that road in the water still.

Perhaps,

if it was made of fine threads
laying across another paradise,
I could walk with wings folded
and place my weary body there.

Through time a spirit gives and takes,
the movement dashes castles made of sand,
a foundation made of ash
blow it out, blow it out
and hold the rock inside with open hand.


Martie Ingebretsen has taken many classes in creative writing, poetry and fiction throughout her life. Her novella, Sweet William, was published in 2013. She has also written a number of short stories and over two thousand poems. She is proud of the ones that have been published. She is a keen observer and finds imagery in all things, and in so doing learns from the beauty and wisdom that surrounds her. Martie lives in Sacramento.

News Item #18

Dear Writers and Readers,

Pumpkin Season

Happy Autumnal Equinox, and a Merry Pumpkin Spice Latte Season to you! The Autumn 2014 issue of Rose Red Review is now live. (How gorgeous are the photographs by Carey Blankenship and Ellen Chai?)

In a few days, I’ll announce our nominations for the 2014 Best of the Net. Stay tuned!

As always, happy reading!

Warm Regards,
Larissa Nash

Issue No. 10, Autumn 2014

The Sex Life of Swans
Sandy Coomer

In May, five to ten eggs. But first,
in February, a protective male, vicious
as if some wild demon boils his blood,

the lake splitting as he charges through it,
neck back and eyes wide in red-raged ire.

We watch from our perch on the bench,
where moments before you felt the foot
of your son push out from the inside. You ask me

if it hurts to have my skin rearranged in such lopsided
ways, knowing you made this strange satisfaction

in both of us, love and fierceness, and I said
sometimes it hurts
and sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes it feels like I’ve waited forever for this
tumble-turn being with shudder-shifting feet.

The swans intertwine necks, breast to breast,
bill to bill, the only time he calms enough to know
the pink streak of dawn against a blue-black water.

The rage is just below the surface, a mirror image
of a frantic love, swirling among rushes at the water’s edge.

In June, the hatching. But first, a savage passion
that matches what lies beneath your refined humanity –
the way you guard me and your seeded child

swimming in the dark lake, pressing
his tiny footprints against your desperate heart.


Sandy Coomer’s poems have been published most recently in Fields Magazine, Number One and POEM. Her poetry chapbook, Continuum, was published by Finishing Line Press is 2012. Her second collection of poems, The Presence of Absence, winner of the 2014 Janice Keck Literary Award for Poetry, is forthcoming later this year. She lives in Brentwood, TN.

Issue No. 10, Autumn 2014

Tigress
From the trees of faithfulness wings soar to heaven;
its root is fast in the earth, its branch in the sky.

Rumi

She paused by the side
of the road and rested in a folding
chair beneath ash tree shade
gazing
at the latest bouquet – daisies and pink
carnations next to a wooden cross.
Manyara had the head of a
tigress,
body covered in white tiger
moths, and roots for legs.
Her legs tried to dig
into the earth while the moths
ached to fly. A split
Libra.
Thoughts growled, Who
was buried here?
She sensed a young
ferret beneath the crust.
Speaking through
sediment,
What is your story?
The ferret with a dark sable mask said,
I was killed by a swerving
car. Then carried off the street
and buried by weasels.


Cindy Rinne creates art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. She is an author with Michael Thomas Cooper of Speaking Through Sediment (forthcoming). Cindy is a reader for Tin Cannon by PoetrIE and a Poetry Editor for The Sand Canyon Review, Crafton Hills College, CA. She is a translator. Cindy is a founding member of PoetrIE. Her work appeared or is forthcoming in The MOON Magazine, Dual Coast Magazine, Artemis Journal, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Pirene’s Fountain, The Poetry Bus (Ireland), The Wayfarer, Extinguished, Extinct Anthology by Twelve Winters Press, The Lake (England), and others. www.fiberverse.com

Issue No. 10, Autumn 2014

A Ritual
After Woman with Sticks by Ron Mueck

The nude woman,
muscles bulging, collects
mulberry sticks
cut branches
left in her neighbor’s backyard.
He will return to store them
in the cement shed
behind his
Bauhaus-style home.

I take them as donations
for my organic abstractions,
natural sculptures,
she says
to herself.
The infinite sticks arch her
back as the bundle strains

earth to heaven.
A reflection

in her pond like cattails
waiting for dragonflies. She
grew up in Springfield, a humid
place, a factor in her
affinity to pile high her
findings like a cocoon.

Piano Sonata in B. Minor
floats over her fence. She
grunts and tries to hum.


Cindy Rinne creates art and writes in San Bernardino, CA. She is an author with Michael Thomas Cooper of Speaking Through Sediment (forthcoming). Cindy is a reader for Tin Cannon by PoetrIE and a Poetry Editor for The Sand Canyon Review, Crafton Hills College, CA. She is a translator. Cindy is a founding member of PoetrIE. Her work appeared or is forthcoming in The MOON Magazine, Dual Coast Magazine, Artemis Journal, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Pirene’s Fountain, The Poetry Bus (Ireland), The Wayfarer, Extinguished, Extinct Anthology by Twelve Winters Press, The Lake (England), and others. www.fiberverse.com

Issue No. 10, Autumn 2014

John the Baptist, Afterward
Micki Blenkush

What I wanted was the washing,
as with the women twisting their garments
along the sea of Galilee. If I could have stayed
in the wilderness I would have done so,

but the pull of the river weighed
my hairshirt’s hem, cooled the wild honey
afire in my veins. Here I could let it happen—
drench my sandals, soak my scratched knees,

rinse clear, so the light pierced beyond
my cave of reason, like the jagged sun bursting
through the trees of my forest home.


Micki Blenkush works as a social worker and lives in St. Cloud, MN with her husband and daughter. Her writing has appeared in Nota Bene; An Anthology of Central Minnesota Writers, in Limehawk, and in Crossings’ Poet-Artists Collaboration XIII, and Poetography VI. One of her poems was selected for St. Cloud’s 2013 Poetry in the Sidewalks contest, and is now immortalized in cement.

Issue No. 10, Autumn 2014

I Search in Dreams for You
Tyler L. Erlendson

I search in dreams for you
climbing through open windows
traipsing through wheat fields
pressed down by a sky
that carries your name.

Looking for the hands
that could be cupping my face
the body that curves unobtrusively
into the weakest parts of me, healing.

The pit of my most secure self reeling
from the tragedy that is the question
when I ask to be loved by you
the way I am already loved by someone else.

I am in trouble as we meet stirring,
waking eye to I
you slip on a cream summer dress
its embroidered flowers cutting me off
just above the knees
my soul speaking, its mouth silent
this writing spinning in rooms
as you are greeting the African night.


Tyler L. Erlendson is the writer and director of the documentary film STRAIGHT WHITE MALE, which was an official selection of Artivist Film Festival in Hollywood, Ca. (2011) He is currently a poet in Pacific University’s MFA program. He lives on a small farm with his wife in Sonoma County, Ca.

Issue No. 10, Autumn 2014

The Princess and the Pea
Lucy M. Logsdon

I opened the window, started throwing
things out. Goodbye love, so long typewriter, flowered
flounce chair, whiskey tumbler,
full ashtray, unsmoked cigarettes.

There goes ambition, bounce,
bounce. Next comes love, the pink and red
starred quilt, the delicately stitched moon patterns.
No more having to lie in what I’ve made.

I keep looking for that tiny pea of disturbance,
that one word if erased, whited out, rephrased,
would let me rest. But nothing comes; I am blankness.
Cover my wounds; shroud my sorrows.

Out go the photos, out goes the phone, out all
the maimed writings that refuse to add up.
Soon it will be me flying through the window. Down,
down goes the princess. How did I

get this so wrong? I just wanted a little quiet
rest. A pea safe inside a pod. I wanted to crawl
down deep into the heart of everything, a seed snug
in layered dirt. I wanted the world to cushion me,

like layers and layers of inflatable bedding. I wanted
Costco sized security. No wonder it was never
enough. The entire world is my disturbance—niggling,
needling, the stone in my shoe.


Lucy M. Logsdon’s work has appeared in a variety of places. A sampling: Nimrod, Poet Lore, The Southern Poetry Review, Conclave, Sixfold, Seventeen. She has received various awards, including a Poetry Society of America emerging writer award, and a Macdowell Artist colony fellowship. She received her MFA from Columbia University in NYC.

Issue No. 10, Autumn 2014

Dream Poem II
Steven Westbrook

This one is yours and,
somehow, I made my way
into it. You;

a man with female parts;
female
with masculine heart.

The norms which river
their way through any love,
in this, we sail it.

We kiss and all I want
is to fix clocks. I could
never manage time.

For instance: in some reality
I loved you, and never
had to recover, I loved you

despite our preoccupations.
I must have forgotten.
I must have been too selfish

to remember. You made
a bed from an aubade
and I call it “us”. I call it

wishful thinking and
staying still. The scene so
UFO, the feeling;

the earth it vacates. Love,
undo the stitches
you’re accustomed to. You,

as we sin in you beyond
the cask of our individual
selves, take your time. Time,

stand still for a while.
In return I’ll fix clocks
every year for every second

of this.


Steven Westbrook is a poet, photographer and former Creative Writing tutor who is currently an undergrad at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. Work of his can be found in Torrid Literature Journal, Squalorly Literature, Instigatorzine, and The Cadaverine, among others, as well as a photography showcase at MOCA Jacksonville. Tony Trigilio recently awarded a poem of his second place in Columbia College Chicago’s Young Authors Competition. You can stalk him at http://john-lemons69.tumblr.com/