Issue 12Summer 2020


Tell Me These Words Don’t Mean Much to You by Mary Lotz

IT’S ALL A MATTER of public record—the grisly murder, the killer’s fetish for his hands, his mother’s red Kool Aid, the yellow clay of Belknap Creek, the yellow American Girl roses my sister-in-law keeps ordering. Even me, I’m part of those court records. But not every fact is in there. Some day next week or […]

Michigan Would Get Beautiful by Eileen O’Leary

RODGE WAS NOT a hurrying kind of guy, but he moved quickly when the front doorbell kept ringing like an alarm. Cecile hurried in. “I had to hit the bell with my elbow. My God.” Rodge got the box of Band-Aids and soon was covering the blisters at the base of his wife’s thumbs, along […]

Interviews and Extras


Life in Carolines by Emmeline Clein

I’ve never met a Caroline I couldn’t fantasize about. When someone mis-pronounces my name more than once, I tell them, “It’s like Caroline, but Emma. Emmeline.” When they ask where that name comes from, I tell them my mother read it in a book. I tell them that Emmeline is often a side character in […]


In My Next Life by Emily Franklin

I want to come back right into this one, pick up right here when all of us are home, and most of us are okay—maybe not ecstatic but who can be that all of the time and wouldn’t it be enough, coming back, to just be okay? Is there a place I can guarantee this […]

Mark Twain’s Ghost by Emily Franklin

appears in the attic—suited, unshaven— and waits until I’ve finished hand-sanding floors (original 1890 pine, stained, lacquered), waits until the room is ready to reveal himself. Bed made, blanket chest heaving our wedding quilt, reading lamp, extra pillows for the new guest room, which Mark Twain claims, his face now in the oval mirror neither […]

Grief by John Struloeff

For an hour after learning of his own father’s death, my father stood by the phone looking out at the empty yard. I was ten years old and had never seen him act this way. I’ve realized since that I had always seen him focused on a task— carrying fresh cucumbers out to my sister, […]

FLOAT by Heather Bartel

the mathematics of suspension occurs in resurfacing, piecing together the pieces, the wood of the tree, sleeping through November’s extra hour, the Scorpio moon, mind lathered in soap and the unholy trinity: snakebite, basil, fallen leaves, the end of the equation a question mark. the theory of regeneration occurs beneath the surface a clockface with […]

the truth is by Kimberly Ann Priest

I don’t remember― but I wrote as if I did. I told you about my bed and my clothes and the silence, and all about the color blue, and how I don’t have it in my bedroom or my bathroom or in any of my kitchen towels. I said it wasn’t my favorite color and […]

the re-wilding by Kimberly Ann Priest

In monarchs’ overwintering groves, there were once so many butterflies that the sound of their wings was described as a rippling stream or a summer rain. Center for Biological Diversity   Small child, dark husband, roving hand, the man who discovered places in me that no man should discover so early; first whispers of marriage […]

Aubade Before Tribunal by Sophia Terazawa

Hill 937. Let me offer you from Sa Huỳnh copper bowls and lingling-o, that double-headed amulet of milky nephrite green. Our ceremony calls for this. Now hold my spirit steady. At its base, regard my grandmother—some one- thousand, seven-hundred-sixty-eight years later, south of Đà Nẵng—coded daily with its embers. Enemy of State or Enemy of […]

Dictums OG-107, Ceremony V by Sophia Terazawa

I. I was channeled, spoken by that sunburst. II. Vaulting through wide crevices of noun, our rooms were filled with music. III.  Only then described by reoccurrence, Jean-Paul Sartre wrote—There Is No Question—but our spectacle of green. And you were channeled, too. IV. To vocalize as such, to multiply, that build-up shone among our bodies. […]

Stage/Screen Writing

The Emperor’s Interview by Judy Klass

CAST OF CHARACTERS: EMPEROR: Male. Smug, crude, full of himself and not very bright. PEYTON: Male or female, a TV reporter who knows how to be deferential and not ask too many uncomfortable questions. DALE: Male or female, a smooth, forceful surrogate for the Emperor who knows how to keep reporters fearful and in their […]

You Too by Elissa Russell

On the stage there is the suggestion of a car. ELLEN, 27,  appears. She is hungover. She throws a backpack into the trunk. She sits in the driver’s seat, checks her phone, throws it into the passenger seat, cries onto the steering wheel. She goes to the trunk and retrieves a bottle of whiskey from […]

The Writing Life

Singing Your Own Voice by Hal Ackerman

THE SUMMER I WAS 19, I lived in Manhattan for the first time in my life. I worked two jobs as I aspired to write my first plays. I was a bellhop at a mid- town hotel and a waiter in a restaurant around the corner.  My weekend shifts at the hotel had me working […]