Thursday, October 8, 2009

Issue #9

Two Poems by Holly Day

Hand-Written Vows

I will, she says, I will
Lose it one of these days, some day
When the dishwasher breaks, when
The kids get sick, when
I get yelled at because you’ve had a hard day at work. I will lose it
And that’ll be it, I will
Pull out the suitcase I have
Hidden under the bed, the tight roll of twenties
Stashed in my jewelry box
All the phone numbers and addresses of relatives
That haven’t seen me since I was single
And I’ll be gone

The Button in the Garage

when the toaster has a brain
and the chair has a heartbeat
and the microwave
knows my schedule through the day
is it assault
to turn off the power
is it murder
to shut the house down for the night?
when the car knows
where I live
and the garage
recognizes my car
does that count as friendship?
is it divorce
when I trade my old car in for a new one
is it torture
for the garage to have to learn
a new face?

Biography Note:

Holly Day is a travel writing instructor living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with her husband and two children. Her most recent nonfiction books are Music Theory for Dummies, Music Composition for Dummies, and Walking Twin Cities.

Flash Fiction by Katie Moore

My Boyfriend and Catwoman

My boyfriend has an imaginary friend. I’ve always been attracted to eccentric artsy types but it’s getting a little ridiculous now. It’s almost like having a hovering mother in law. He has to stop and ask her what she thinks about every little thing, from the grocery list to the day’s schedule.

“How do you feel about Mexican for dinner, Catwoman?”

“Which movie do you want to see this week, Catwoman?”

“Wait, Jamie, we can’t go yet, she’s still lacing up her boots.”

Yeah, his imaginary friend is Catwoman. Not Michelle Pfeiffer, Eartha Kitt, or any of the other actresses who played Catwoman in movies or on TV, but the actual comic book vixen herself. His version is skinnier, younger, and even more naked of course. She never leaves his side. I’ve even heard him talking to her in the shower, soothing her hurt feelings after she witnessed our lovemaking…How…how, weird!

It used to make me giggle. I thought he was pretending. That lasted for a few weeks. I’m easily blinded by a shaggy haired musician with quirks. When I figured out that he never stopped pretending I was intrigued. I wondered if he saw her as a drawing, lying next to him on the couch whispering her preferences into his ear, or if she looked like a real girl when he…imagined her. Did she have big fake breasts or was she more natural? When I asked him he said they were covered in black vinyl, like her face, duh…

I assume that means he isn’t having a sexual relationship with his feline female friend, though I have heard him mutter, “Tease,” under his breath while wearing a particularly pained expression, and I know he isn’t talking about me. I’m fucking a guy with an imaginary friend, after all.

Biography Note:

Katie Moore is a mother, writer, and that order. Sorry, husband. She is completely unfit for "real" work, as all she ever does is scribble. Her fiction and poetry appears here and there, but she enjoys being vague. Most of her time is spent as a devoted editor for The Legendary, a place where weirdos put their best words.

Pinching Pennies
Sue Ellis

On a summer morning we head out to
the back yard. I've got the scissors and
comb, he's carrying a plastic lawn chair.

In the shade of the lilacs, I sit in the
chair. He does a warm-up with the
scissors, slicing air into ribbons while a
magpie tugs at my shoelaces.

He's learned to shape, not shingle, with
hands more suited to hammers. We visit
about everything and nothing. Easy and
hard. My scalp tingles at his touch.

When he's finished, I brush off my shirt
and thank him. The haircut will be good
enough. Then I notice that the neighbor
has seen us from a vantage point beyond
the raspberry canes.

I wonder how the observer interpreted
our geriatric still life, if he could fathom
chemical sensitivity, how I can't visit
hairdressers now.

I doubt he sees the patient man who cuts
my hair, and makes plain soap for me.
Or gets how water, lye, and oil saponify,
merging into something pure. He
probably thinks we're pinching pennies.

Biography Note:

Sue Ellis is a retired postmaster from Spokane, Washington. Her short stories and poetry have been previously published in various online venues including Dead Mule, Flash Me Magazine, Six Sentences, Camroc Press Review and Ken Again. She has also appeared at Birmingham Arts Journal and SpokeWrite, a local writers' journal.

The Bard’s Shirt
Aleathia Drehmer

It is stained with organic ginger beer
near the buttons, a faded dribble
that lept from loose lips that act as anchors.

Saffron edges curl at the neck,
a blessing from the Rinpoche
with vows taken to live in the middle.

In the glass, the cream linen
lies old and nearly transparent
against the contrast of hot skin

steeped in the shower, nipples
colored like berries in summer,
flat beneath the fabric.

Pleased, I stare at myself
and begin to think, if I were a man,
would I like this kind of mystery?

An almost tangible outline of breast,
the sternum’s valley cast in shadow,
thoughts about the skin’s smell,

its taste upon the tongue, and then
deny it to myself, grinning, knowing
the imagination depends on what

cannot be seen.

Biography Note:

Aleathia Drehmer is happy. She is the Editor of a print micro-zine called Durable Goods and the Special Editions Editor for Zygote in my Coffee. Her work has been published in fine journals and magazines, both online and in print, such as: Ottawa Arts Review, Word Riot, The Cerebral Catalyst, Flutter, Laura Hird, Silence Press, Nibble, Munyori Poetry Journal, and Hobo Camp Review. She has had two small collections of poetry published at Kendra Steiner Editions called “Thickets of Mayapple” and “Circles”. Her forthcoming full collection called “Empty Spaces” will be in a book shared with Dan Provost published by Tainted Coffee Press. Her previously published work can be viewed here:

Two Poems by Anne Brooke


Keep the dagger bright,
grease its shining metal
to cure the wound
and lay it across
the sick man’s bed.
Such a sympathetic salve
might bury a scar
deep in the earth
if you let it.

A recipe for marital harmony

Bow-tie tying’s
a private thing
that man must do alone;
just like the space
his wife requires
whenever she’s on the phone.

Biography Note:

Anne Brooke’s fiction has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Novel Award, the Royal Literary Fund Awards and the Asham Award for Women Writers. She has also twice been the winner of the DSJT Charitable Trust Open Poetry Competition. Her latest novel is The Bones of Summer, a romantic thriller about religion, murder and the chance for a new beginning. More information can be found at and she keeps a terrifyingly honest journal at

Sun God Poet
Karolina Manko

Every poet is a spark,
But you are a full-fledged fire.
Flame body dancing,
Hypnotized by the rhythm of the ancients.
You are limbs composed of
The licks of charring oaks and cedars.
Your insides erupt in volcanic proportions,
Leaving the rest of you matter blackened.
You are systematic and predictable,
You are impulsive yet controllable,
Self illuminating and self blinding.
You are blessed flint,
Rubbing and vexing your skin
In hope of conquering the darkness of illiteracy.
But sometimes the intensity of your intensity
Squelches the sparks of every other living thing around you.
Ashes to ashes; dust to dust.
But tell me, boy…
Which one among you will bury the sun?
Is there one brave enough?

Biography Note:

Karolina Manko is a current sophomore at The City College of New York where she is an English Literature major with a concetration in Secondary Education. She writes poems mostly for the stage, focusing on Spoken Word (or Slam Poetry) as her main medium for artistic expression. She greatly enjoys performing her poetry locally and hopes to one day tour the country with her spoken word creations.

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