Issue 9Winter 2019


Orange Crush by Jordan Bendall

It was 3 a.m. on the second day of March and the moon was waxing, gibbous, and full of rainbow. I was walking down the Rue de Esquimalt, tripping on my feet but also on whatever madman’s panacea, whatever twisted elixir was coursing through my veins at the time. I can’t remember what it was […]

Zen by Jenna Swisher

Sherman Larson has eighty-seven bear traps buried in his front yard. Every few weeks he changes them–different patterns for different moods. Pensive: Neat rows exactly a foot apart. Carefully measured to promote tranquility. Balanced. Zen. Anxious: Haphazard clumps. Only some are set to activate, their mouths held open in silent screams. The rest keep their […]

Interviews and Extras

Interview with Mary Laura Philpott: Author of I Miss You When I Blink by Karin Pendley Koser

Mary Laura Philpott: Author of I Miss You When I Blink (released April 1, 2019) Interview by Karin Pendley Koser   I had a lovely chat with writer and sometime illustrator Mary Laura Philpott, a week or so before her new memoir-in-essays book, I Miss You When I Blink, debuted April 1 in Nashville and […]

Interview with author Patti Callahan by Karin Pendley Koser

  Personal Interview with author Patti Callahan, author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis (historical fiction) and 13 contemporary fiction novels by Karin Pendley Koser QU MFA 2019   [Full disclosure: Patti and I have known each other casually for about ten years but aren’t in regular touch due to our full lives and physical distance after […]


Turtle’s Reunion Tour by Allen X. Davis

Turtle, Senator and I sat at a table at the Beachcomber on Wollaston Beach while the redheaded guitar player, billed as The President of Rock ‘n’ Roll, roared: There’s a riot goin’ on! Down in cellblock number nine. I was in the slammer with Albert DiSalvo, shouted Senator over the music. He nodded his head […]


Photograph in which children are throwing rice at your wedding dress by Megan Merchant

Maybe they are paper airplanes, or goosenecks made from linen napkins, clappers taken from every bell within fifty miles. I imagine that, when you gathered your train, to get into the car, streamered with tin cans that rattled newlywed the whole way home, grains fell from the hand-stitched fabric with a hush. I feed you […]

Ordinary Psalm With Severe Neglect by Julia B. Levine

I was working day shift at the County Shelter, 102 degrees in the tattered shade of that street and this kid, maybe 5 or 6, had been scrubbed clean, her hair oiled for lice. Her teeth rotted brown   from sucking juice bottles to sleep, she was busy climbing over the dirty couch in the […]

27 Saras by Sara Backer

after Wayne Holloway-Smith   Sara without the H (the princess is not Jewish but Arabian), Sara Kookaburra in the old gum tree, Sara who struggled to sharpen B+s into As, Sara who sees double, Sara under wraps, Sara in the brook (her natural habitat), Fire Hen Triple Gemini Sara. Skeleton crew Sara, Sara Solo, Sara […]


What if Venus had risen not from the froth of the sea but from a pool on a farm in Iowa or Minnesota with tower silos of grain as her backdrop as visible from the kitchen window as in the camera lens at the very moment wind sweeps her auburn hair to stream like a […]

Black Bear by Amaris Feland Ketcham

                                         once a woman went to the mountain alone NEVER say its name aloud, or you will wake the     from                                […]

After the Diagnosis by Shuly Xóchitl Cawood

I stopped planting annuals—no more petunias or geraniums or zinnias I longed to have come back without my bidding. I planted Lenten roses, daffodils, daylilies whose color I forgot so they would surprise me in summer: orange persimmon, showlight, mystic amulet, wispy morn. To continue reading this selection you can purchase Issue 9

Stage/Screen Writing

Toxic by Jennie Jarvis

INT. BUNKER – LIVING SPACE – ARMCHAIR – DAY A woman’s face. Dry. Brittle. Slack and distorted in death. This was once FAY, 30s. Now it’s just a corpse. ALICE (V.O.) It was two days after my 16th birthday when my mother died. ALICE, 16, scrawny yet hopeful, with all the whimsy of her fairy […]

JB in Detox by Fred D. White

CAST JOHN BERRYMAN (JB):  Professor, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, alcoholic MR. BONES: Dream Songs protagonist Henry’s alter ego; a minstrel NURSE BERRYMAN SENIOR (JB’s father) RODERICK MARSH: A counselor to alcoholics; former student of JB   SCENE The detox ward of a hospital in Minneapolis, circa. 1970 Bare stage, except for a stool   AT […]

The Writing Life

Loving Our Work and Letting it Go by Rebecca McClanahan

One morning many years ago, I phoned a writer friend and asked if she would take a look at a manuscript I’d recently completed, one that I was particularly fond of. I guess you could call it a crush. Yes, I had a crush on my manuscript. (If you’re a writer, you probably know how […]