Sunday, 9 January 2011

Issue ten// Rani M. Moesq


a fly
a swat
from reaper

© Rani M. Moesq 2011
Rani M. Moesq has taught English language in a number of countries. She has lectured on aspects of English Literature, has written the book, lyrics and music for two musical comedies and had poetry, short stories, essays and books for children published in Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. A member of the New Zealand Society of Authors, she is a full-time writer and is at present working on a novel set in pre and post-war Singapore.

Issue ten// Phylinda Moore

Just Before
a tornado
the air turns green, pink, or sometimes yellow
like a bruise

animals still, birds quiet
in heavy waiting air
steel grey clouds wall across the sky

the animal in you is wary
the hook snares the ground

if it comes
sound runs a freightliner over paper
you throw
to the ground– your only,
tenuous hope
and pray
God spare you
this destruction

© Phylinda Moore 2011
Phylinda Moore lives in Philadelphia. Journals where her work has
been published include: Bogg, The Rambler, RiverSedge, and Sierra Nevada College Review.

Issue ten// Donal Mahoney

Sitting Shiva in a Hotel Lobby

For a year this image has haunted me.
Over and over I hear on the gramophone
Cohen put in my ear
“Feature this:
On a crowded elevator
a strange woman in a baseball cap
unbuttons your fly.”
That image is on the ceiling every night
as I sit shiva in the lobby
of this small hotel,
a hookah, like a tired cobra,
coiled at my feet,
a shamrock in my buttonhole
dead from the last parade.
Night after night,
I think about this strange woman
as each hour I watch
the doors of the elevator
part and give birth.
I observe each new guest carefully,
hoping the woman in the baseball cap
will tire of the rain and ride up
in the elevator and register.
I want her to sit in the lobby
and talk with us.
We who are guests here forever
have eons to hear
what she has to say.
We have paid our rent in advance.
We can afford to sit here and see.

© Donal Mahoney 2011
Donal Mahoney has worked as an editor for the Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. A Pushcart nominee, he has had poems published in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Public Republic (Bulgaria) and Revival (Ireland).

Issue ten// Garrett Ashley


He says, "Plans are only ruined as they are made."
I say, "We have a week to worry, long enough to rest."
They say, "But it may rain, or something. The wind
Will pick up and catch us having fun."
I say, "So we will reschedule."
They say, "We shouldn't make plans at all."
He says, "Plans are only ruined as they are made."
She says, "The tents are packed and the wind will blow
Them away.
I say, "Let the wind blow, that is the way of nature."
They say, "We'll have blankets, and a fire if it's too cold."
I say, "And darkness to protect us from the animal and the stranger."
My mother comes into the room, tears on her cheeks, she says,
"Nell is dead; there was a gas leak, now they're all gone."
I say, no I think—we think—maybe it's better
That we never make any plans at all.

Blue is the ugliest color, mercury
Blue with a hint of delight
And a fusion of circumstances
I have not controlled.
The color of an eye—not a pair, one
Open pupil wide, seeing
Through the angry lines, but
Never hearing, it turns white,
And loses sight, deserving, probably.
I hope that eye never loses
The memory of the things it has seen.

© Garrett Ashley 2011
Garrett Ashley lives in MS and studies English at The University of Southern Mississippi. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in more than a dozen publications including Brain Harvest, The Bloody Bridge Review, The Smoking Poet, and M Brane SF. Currently he enjoys juggling cats.

Issue ten// Brandon Copeland

On this banal plain

what is that saying?
darkest before dawn?
and i will keep
holding out my tongue
because each ending
is a different flavor of darkness
no abyss or bliss
just shades of existence,
in the twilight
and the morning repeating

© Brandon Copeland 2011
Brandon Copeland, 29, is a social justice activist and writer
originally from Kentucky. His website, Nascence, can be visited here.

Issue ten //Derrick A. Paulson

Scribbled Extinct

This morning at the corner coffee shop I overheard the tail
end of a heated conversation in a booth adjacent to mine
between a triceratops and an astronomer. I had assumed
they were discussing their choices in beverages when I first
sat down, had even snickered to myself at the ironic thought
that this armored dinosaur could be drinking a turtle mocha. I
had also quickly stifled a laugh into the crossword section of
my newspaper at the association between “stargazer”
and “Starbucks” (as well as at the coincidence that the
former was the answer to four across). “It doesn’t matter how
cold it is,” the astronomer said, exasperated. “What’s
important is the size of the thing.” “I, for one, am opposed”
snorted the triceratops, “whole textbooks will have to be
overhauled, forthcoming ones recalled, all because of a
minor classification discrepancy.” “Minor?” repeated the
astronomer, “there’re tons of things that would’ve had to be
considered planetary in our galaxy alone, including some
asteroids, if Pluto had stayed a planet.” “Don’t mention
asteroids,” shivered the triceratops. Then, to regain his
composure, he said coolly: “I thought the term ‘dwarf’ was
dysphemistic in contemporary times?” I sipped my cold
coffee, scribbled “extinct” into fifteen across. “It’s completely
fine to call Pluto a dwarf planet,” said the astronomer, “it’s
not going to get offended and start protesting the IAU
committee’s decision—leave it to the misinformed mass to
do that.” His remark was as pointed as his companion’s
horn’s. “Do you imply that I am missing something?” the
triceratops asked as he rubbed the thinning bone of his frill,
unable to check the agitation in his voice. “Your tenure
doesn’t ensure your competence,” replied the astronomer.
Even I could sense there was something akin to an elephant
in the room. I tried to focus on my crossword, to ignore the
silence that followed. The clue for fifteen down: “Cretaceous
ceratopsid” seemed so familiar, yet, for the life of me I
couldn’t place it. When I looked up again the astronomer
was turning a melting ice cube from his emptied glass over
and over in his hand, and the triceratops was gone.

© Derrick A. Paulson 2011
Derrick A. Paulson (26) is a M.F.A. candidate in creative writing at Minnesota State University Moorhead. His previous works of poetry and prose have been included in Lovechild, Red Weather, and the Gander Press Review.