News Item #24

Dear Writers and Readers,

Happy Autumn! The new issue of Rose Red Review is now live. This issue is one of my favorite issues thus far. Here, the witches are grannies from West Virginia, and the ghosts are our faithful friends. Men become trees, and music permeates the walls. What shakes, rattles, and rolls can linger—at turns “silent, dark /
and stuttersilver.” — Amy Durant

Happy reading!

Warm Regards,
Larissa Nash

(Also, if you haven’t already, please check out our header contest!)

Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

Nine Hundred
Jeffrey H. MacLachlan

Call now for your free reading. Don’t be ashamed of ferocious confessions. My name is Ruth. My name is Charles. Talk to live shadows. Extract your parents’ permission before continuing. Tell them I’m your friend Amanda. I’m a vice principal. They don’t understand a kid like you. Visions of your future are now appearing. Your dead dog will reincarnate as a goldfish and flop by the playground at dawn. Amanda will kiss you in orchestra if you smuggle your father’s machete in a viola case. I’ve sent a visitor for you. I hear that he’s happy inside your skull and reads Amanda’s diary. Hang on the line.


Jeffrey H. MacLachlan has recent or forthcoming work in New Ohio Review, Eleven Eleven, Santa Clara Review, among others. He teaches literature at Georgia College & State University. He can be followed on Twitter @jeffmack.

Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

The Coco Man
Jeffrey H. MacLachlan

Hello Carroll, where are my kids? Feel the chill of descending many stairs. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? There is a basement door that is chipped, steel, and tired of opening. The basement door locks and shadows lay passed out along the floor. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? There is the thin, sweet taste of natural gas and basement flood. Hello Carroll, where are my kids?

The bag of crystal is there. A fresh glass pipe is there. Second-hand teddy bears roam freely there. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? An unplugged washing machine wags its cord there. Red blankets cover windows so no one can hear you there.

You will dream a pesadilla. You will hear my voice through a fuzzy radio signal. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? You fall asleep on a mattress printed with shackled children feasting on an inflorescence of wisteria. They keel over, oval faces dyed yellow. Shell wind chimes clang and rattle as if dying for a kiss. Hello Carroll, where are my kids? I have come for what is promised.


Jeffrey H. MacLachlan has recent or forthcoming work in New Ohio Review, Eleven Eleven, Santa Clara Review, among others. He teaches literature at Georgia College & State University. He can be followed on Twitter @jeffmack.

Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

Sloth
(After paying two dollars to pose
for a picture with an old man in
Costa Rica, cuddling his pet sloth.)

First a paradox:
The yellowed saber claws
and oddly comical snout and face.
.
Then the eyes:
almond glass in milk
the slow, crystal blink and gaze
almost comatose with awe
as if she can’t believe the saturated hues
sunlit depths and marvelous shapes
her sight has found.

Silver daughter of a distant forest
she is clutching, dozing, dreaming,
of a light above the canopies.


Ray DiZazzo has published poetry and criticism in commercial and literary magazines, newspapers and books. Some of those publications include: Poetry Now, The Berkeley Poetry Review, Westways, Beyond Baroque, East River Review, Painted Bride Quarterly, The Road Apple Review, Invisible City, California Quarterly and others. He is the recipient of the Percival Roberts Book Award and the Rhysling Award. He is also a Pushcart Prize nominee. His work has been anthologized in The Alchemy of Stars, Burning with a Vision and Contemporary Literary Criticism. In addition, he has published three books of poetry: Clovin’s Head, Red Hill Press, 1976; Songs for a Summer Fly, Kenmore Press, 1978; and The Water Bulls, Granite-Collen, 2009.

Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

My Father is a Cypress
R.G. Evans

His bayou is my bayou, his knees my knees,
pushing himself up within me toward the sky
neither of us will reach. Angerwood
twists upward, unable to hold its needles
like conifers without rage. How can I tell
his cinnamon from my gold
when our silences sound identical?
How can the living contain the dead
when the dead were here first?
My father is not a cypress. I am not a tree,
but I contain him like a seed within a cone.
We stand knee-deep in tea-colored water,
draw it into ourselves through roots gone bad,
father and son, deciduous and drowning.


R.G. Evans is the author of the poetry collection Overtipping the Ferryman (Aldrich Press Poetry Prize, 2014) and the forthcoming novella The Noise of Wings. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in Rattle, The Literary Review, and Weird Tales, among other publications. His original music, including the song “The Crows of Paterson,” was featured in the 2012 documentary All That Lies Between Us. Evans teaches high school and college English and Creative Writing in southern New Jersey. rgevanswriter.com

Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

Snake Garden
in memory of Russell Edson

A woman was sowing snakes in the garden.
“Don’t be foolish,” her husband told her. “It’s too early to plant copperheads. You have to wait until the last frost is past.”
The woman ignored his advice. “That’s an old wives’ tale,” she said, sowing another row.
“You should know,” he told her. “You’re an old wife. But we shall see come the next frost.”
The next night grew frigid and when morning came, the woman awoke to find a fine blanket of ice silvering her garden.
“You see,” her husband said. “You should have planted something heartier, like timber rattlers or cottonmouths.”
“I will plant mambas in your work boots,” she told him. “And coral snakes in your sock drawer.”
“That’s no way for a wife to talk,” he said.
“I’m no wife,” the woman said. “I’m a gardener—see?”
The man turned to find delicate vines covered with silver scales sprouting in the garden through the ice.
“You are a gardener!” he said.
“I am a wife,” the woman said. “Now it’s back to the snake store. Mind your boots and socks.”


R.G. Evans is the author of the poetry collection Overtipping the Ferryman (Aldrich Press Poetry Prize, 2014) and the forthcoming novella The Noise of Wings. His poems, stories, and reviews have appeared in Rattle, The Literary Review, and Weird Tales, among other publications. His original music, including the song “The Crows of Paterson,” was featured in the 2012 documentary All That Lies Between Us. Evans teaches high school and college English and Creative Writing in southern New Jersey. rgevanswriter.com

Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

Saint Drama
Mary Kasimor

between preludes
isolated in a place dark flowers
filaments scattered
function stayed alive
carrying secret membranes touching
random patterns of fear cut into the brain
of dancing chemicals
performing like a pill in a commercial
stuck in a small place
she is woken up
the logical balance
of women
and darkness throws corrupted light
the river spits small holes
a row of nerves knit together
(old women knit and drink tea)
in the next room a window
for a view of other versions
it’s the sun’s resurrection
too beautiful to live
obsessed with versions of purity
saint drama
the future
unthreading the blood sealing the cracks
you’ve changed into
the odd one
the earth with eyes
isolation’s mysticism voices poetry
my gem
my diseased mind


Mary Kasimor has most recently been published in Big Bridge, Arsenic Lobster, Horse Less Review, Nerve Lantern, Altered Scale, Word For/Word, Posit, 3 AM, EOAGH, and The Missing Slate. She has three previous books and/or chapbook publications: Silk String Arias (BlazeVox Books), & Cruel Red (Otoliths), and The Windows Hallucinate (LRL Textile Series). She has a new collection of poetry published in 2014, entitled The Landfill Dancers (BlazeVox Books). She also writes book reviews that have been published in Jacket, Big Bridge, Galatea Resurrects, Poets’ Quarterly, and Gently Read Literature. She considers her work experimental—both her poetry and ink/water colors.

Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

Reading the Cards
Jennifer Lynn Krohn

I met the glares of kings and queens
as I spread my new deck across the table.
A woman asked for her fortune.

I read each card’s meaning
straight from the instructions,
until I placed down the last

—Death.

He always shows his face
to the gullible, those who learned of fate
from a dollar matinee. I explained

—pointing to the page—this card
only signifies change. Still the liar, Death
leaves scratches the length of limousines.

Poor thing—having a cup of coffee—
she asks a stranger
and some paper squares what to do.

Worried about bills, work, the tip,
a missing shoe—stuck in the monotony
of a husband and children. After a while

she hoped for a snag—
a lover tangling straight lines—
she wanted to be in knots.

But Death danced in front of her
on the heads of knights, emperors, popes,
car mechanics. Death

always strips us down.
She stared into her cup, a heart full
of holes wanting to be darned.

She wanted to be told that if she let
the heat build, she’d erupt like Vesuvius
devouring cities, toppling towers.

She wanted to find that she wasn’t bound
and blind, that she was more
than a smudge of chalk someone brushes off.


Jennifer Lynn Krohn was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she currently lives with her husband. She earned her MFA from the University of New Mexico, and she currently teaches English at Central New Mexico Community College and Santa Fe University of Art and Design. Jennifer is the poetry editor for Fickle Muses and a member of the Dirt City writers collective. She has published work in Río Grande Review, Prick of the Spindle, In the Garden of the Crow, Versus Literary Journal, and Gingerbread Literary Magazine.

Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

Trick-or-Treating (Tarzana, California)
Coco Owen

The underworld has turned inside out, & its creatures
are walking. Fresh from damnation, Goth ladies,
scapular & vamping, amble the gum-stuck sidewalks

of Ventura Boulevard. Tarzana isn’t proud: no one cares
that Halloween handouts make it a welfare state
once a year. Teens & mummy-wrapped parents

swoop ahead of little princesses walking in a night
blotto as a black dahlia. Elmore Leonard ghostwalks,
taking invisible notes in the florid police lingo

of opium poppies. A Dracula, crucifix-shy, &
other trick-or-treat demons, skip among the veiled.
Goody-two-shoes Pollyannas frighten by playing dead.

In our ghost-town, tar zinnias mirror-bloom in the spreading
oil of gutter puddles. Tomorrow the vampires
& their dates will show up at church for All Saints Day,

renewing their baptismal vows at Our Lady of Grace
or St. Nicholas. The black cowls on the street will be
replaced by mantillas on sedate grandmothers.

Pluck an aster from the altar, get married to winter;
the faithful exit, petal-shrouded. A glamour rises as
the women kick up the dead leaves with their stilettos.


Coco Owen is a poet in Los Angeles. She has published poems in Antioch Review, 1913, CutBank, The Journal and The Feminist Wire, among other venues. She has been a finalist in several recent book contests, including the May Swenson Poetry Award, and has a chapbook forthcoming from Tammy. Owen serves on the board of Les Figues Press in Los Angeles. Read more of her work at: cocoowenphd.com.

Issue No. 14, Autumn 2015

Detroit: Belle Isle Bridge
Bess Houdini, 1906

For you this river is a birth
submerged in current cold enough
to quell a weaker heart. I may as well
be spirit, haunting the struts, my skin

no deeper than November morning
ice. Who even counts anymore?
Padlocks crusted with coin, chains only
fools will swallow. Duration you show them

is a hasp-sprung sky, your gaffed
pageantry a simple truth, how it stokes
your nerve to flame. Not this river,
but the one we are, whispers

inside me like blood. Want is still
the greater risk, water as thirst, a child
I only dream. The current moves
between our bodies; we are nearing middle-age.

That’s me on the towpath, swaddled in black,
minor witness to another gilded proof. Gulls
shriek their pallor. The wind tastes like snow.
You rise with your hands full of sky.


Diane Unterweger lives in Wisconsin. Her poems have recently appeared in Gingerbread House, Naugatuck River Review, and Blast Furnace.