Sarah Mangold

She has a gilt complex and a poison pen
………………….The night was like a moment added to the day. Signing his

name and forgetting his friends   like years going backwards to

the beginning of ambient textuality.

…………………Endless couplets and in the brilliant sunshine

the unchanging things began again. Non-pressure modalities.

The characters of the story were always tiresome. The administrative and

problematic heavy industry publications.

………………..The ideas   the wonderful quotations   if you looked closely

metadata containers   everybody knew. I’m reading a novel   I’m on an

architectural space. Dear Eve   Shakespeare is a sound.

………………….He was secretly interested in adventurers and adventuresses

the book in durational energy. Paid for does it make dinner

an uncomfortable domestic container. Before she finished the chapter

Miriam knew the position of each piece of furniture.

…………………The information on the surface was romantic and modular.

Every page a discrete unit absorbed in a massive amount of footnotes.


Sarah Mangold live in Edmonds, WA and is the recipient of 2013 NEA Poetry fellowship. Her first book, Household Mechanics (New Issues, 2002) was selected by C. D. Wright for the New Issues Poetry Prize. Her second book, Electrical Theories of Femininity (forthcoming, Pavement Saw Press) was selected for the Transcontinental Poetry Award. Her most recent chapbooks included Cupcake Royale (above/ground press), I Meant To Be Transparent (LRL e-edtions) and An Antenna Called the Body (Little Red Leaves Textile Editions). From 2002-2009 she edited Bird Dog, a print journal of innovative writing and art.


Betsy Aoki

Speaking Language

I am not speaking English now.
The lightest word will alter our trajectory.
The slightest touch, and another marvel
of translation blows itself to feathers,
to pieces of paper fluttering in a cracked wall.
I am trying to tell you. Listen to the faucet.
Hear what I look like. Imagine

the dark-haired phrase you fell in love with
during a sixth grade picnic. Now give her
eloquent eyes, a slender body, a new name.
Her syllables roll over your tongue,
skate over breaking ice. Words do that well.
White grains, small grains,
long grains scattering on linoleum. What
language looks like: a woman unafraid to eat.

The lake is breaking. Underwater
swims a long black fish, a sleek diver.
She is not speaking English now.
She sends meanings to the surface
in white bubbles, in pearls. They roll
up the sides of your face, in laughter.
They break against the glass.

You say she is that kind of woman. You slur
the night with her. She leaves behind
no letter, no predictions. You have not heard
the diction of her face for weeks. She has
given voice to me. And I am not speaking
English. Listen harder. Tell me
what I look like, once you’ve looked away.



Elizabeth (Betsy) Aoki completed her MFA from the University of Washington and has received fellowships from the City of Seattle, Jack Straw Writers Program, and Artist Trust Foundation. In addition to various academic literary journals, her poetry has been anthologized in Yellow as Turmeric, Fragrant as Cloves: A Contemporary Anthology of Asian American Women’s Poetry and in Fire On Her Tongue: an eBook Anthology of Contemporary Women’s Poetry. Her chapbook, Every Vanish Leaves Its Trace was published in 2009 by Finishing Line Press.

Dan Lamberton

The Abundance of Rain


I have some confessions to make—
they have to do with this century
and how much I don’t want to be led
along by it any further. They have to do
with today being nothing about tomorrow,
but, rather, about history and how
all I know is before me, that is, before
I was, and I confess that
I search through old photographs
for reminders of who I am. If the people
in early Nebraska somehow hung pictures
of their old homes in Virginia
on the sod walls above their gritty beds,
and I am the grandchild made through them,
then I still carry their dissolved walls
in me, and I confess I want mostly what is past.

Granted, we live in two directions. There should be,
for the young, the chance to make children. But once
made, have them look backward. Start
with pictures of the unclothed, with Eakins’ nude men
along a tug-of-war rope, their haunches in the grass,
and their heels dug in, and their arms showing they’re no
different from me. A little differently muscled perhaps,
more formed by old work, by scythes and stone boats,
but they look like I do and they died. But first they enjoyed
themselves. And look next at unclothed women, Muybridge’s
panels of them, pouring water on each other’s heads,
picking up children. They have nothing Victorian
about them. They lived through all that and survived.

There’s a haystack, “1947, Near Norfolk, Nebraska,”
in a Wright Morris photo. And I know that
each of those straws were arranged
by the physics of elbows
and the leverage of hayforks
and that elbows and hayforks
depended upon the occasional abundance of rain.

So that’s it. It’s about rain, and how I am
drawn back into it. Remember how we lay
together, in that wood-paneled room near Seattle
with rain washing down so hard we felt
what we were doing was cleaned the second
it happened? It’s not that our future was rain,
but that its sound was a sound we both knew,
that took us out to itself and we heard, “There
has always been rain and there has always, therefore,
been you. Even more, there have always been
numberless thousands of you, not just
now, not just all of you now who are blind,
but there was always this sound, rain’s and yours,
pounding the outside and inside of walls
like these, and the Indians’ leather walls,
and the hopeless poor people’s walls,
and also, alas, the walls of all those
whose ears are closed and who think
they’re creating the future.”

“The Abundance of Rain” is reprinted from a broadside by Ian Boyden, Crab Quill Press.


Dan Lamberton has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington and has published poems nationally in journals and magazines such as Sojourners, Northern Lights, and Poetry Northwest. He is the author of On the River through the Valley of Fire: The Collaborative Ceramics of Frank Boyden and Tom Coleman (American Museum of Ceramic Art, 2008). His essay, “Randlett’s Roethke:  It Was All So Visual”  considering Mary Randlett’s late photos of Theodore Roethke, appears in the 2013 Spring & Summer Photography issue of Poetry Northwest. Lamberton has delivered, throughout the state, over 60 lectures on Washington’s poets for Humanities Washington. He has also lectured in Seattle for the Teachers as Scholars program, sponsored by the Seattle Arts and Lectures Series, and has taught a summer course at the University of Washington called “A Sense of Where We Are: Literature and History of the Pacific Northwest,” and completed a northwest literary history anthology in cooperation with the University of Washington history department. Dan is Professor of English and Humanities Program Director at Walla Walla University.


Lyn Coffin

Paradelle on Love


Once, our hearts were open. We made love.
We made love once our hearts were open.
We turned and embraced in huge, unmade spaces ruined by war.
Unmade, we turned and embraced in huge spaces ruined by war.
Once we turned and embraced open war in huge spaces we made,
our hearts were ruined by unmade love.

Have you vanished from the face of this life?
You have vanished from the face of this life.
Still, I miss belonging to you and longing to have love.
Still, I miss belonging to you to have love and longing.
I have vanished from this life to miss longing,
and still you have the face of love belonging to you.

Our old blind pain did not help us find a way to God.
Our old pain did not help us find a way to blind God.
God could not let us be true to one another.
One God could not let us be true to another.
Let us find another blind God to be true to.
Our old one way pain God did not, could not help us.

Our old way of belonging to blind war turned
our hearts’ spaces to pain. We once embraced love,
and could have vanished from another God,
to find the one true face to help us. You were not open,
God. You did not let be, and have ruined us. And,
still, in this unmade life made huge by longing, I miss love.


“Paradelle on Love” is reprinted from Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range (Rose Alley Press), edited by David D. Horowitz. More about the paradelle form here.


Lyn Coffin is a widely-published poet, playwright, fiction and non-fiction writer, as well as a translator. Thirteen of her books have been published, and two more are due out in 2013. She teaches Literary Fiction at the University of Washington (Department of Continuing and Professional Education), and a Translation Seminar at the Shota Rustaveli Institute in Georgia, the country, her teaching there support this year (2013) by the American Embassy in Tbilisi. Decades ago, one of her fictions was published in Best American Short Stories 1979 edited by Joyce Carol Oates, and plays of hers have been performed on Off Off Broadway, as well as Malaysia, Singapore, Boston, Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Seattle. She is currently working on a full-length translation of the great Georgian epic, The Knight in the Panther Skin, by Shota Rustaveli. She will lead a presentation on the poetry of Mohsen Emadi at the 2014 AWP in Seattle. She has been named Wordsworth poet twice, mostly recently this summer. Her awards include an honorary PhD. from the World Academy of Arts and Culture (UNICEF) for “poetic excellence and her efforts on behalf of world peace.”


Cheryl Waitkevich

Before Everything Happened



before everything happened

the kids ran steps 2 at a time

laundry was folded regardless.

roses bloomed lilac colored,

trumpeted dawn and daylight.

before everything happened,

we rode our bikes past noon

the sun burnt the backs of our necks

we fell into the moon.

planets aligned for a moment

Jupiter filled the heavens.

swans swam in ice covered ponds.

before everything happened, I still lied.

you still hit me with the baseball bat

before everything happened

it had all happened, though we hid it.

pretended the dog ate it  even though it was

too large for a mastiff to swallow.

the regurgitate was there

under the trampoline and we all saw it.

the moon wept while the red roses bloomed

you were sweet on me once,

I too was on you.

before everything happened.



Cheryl Waitkevich lives in Olympia with her husband, 2 chihuahuas, 2 cats and 4 chickens. She writes, “I am a poet–but find it difficult to say that word, never mind print it. I write for people I love and as a way to capture my memories and feelings. I work at a local hospital…. It helps me take myself seriously when I dare submit a poem.”


Jane Alynn



She remembers how he entered the flower,
keen on the honeysuckle
that fluttered itself,
enamored of red—
his brazen body, hovering,
darting in and out,
interrupted, now and then,
by the humming
of a nectar-seeking rival,
equally as beautiful.
Then with the flush of spring
he turns a coppery back to her
ascends, slowly, to great heights
and dives on whistling wings
in a giddy twist toward her, tail on fire.
She’d like to get used to this.
But such displays are short-lived.
Given to being alone,
never alighting—or not for long,
ever a flitterer, he buzzes off
to the next flower
as she knew he would,
leaving her the nest
and a hunger
greater than her tiny body lets on.


“Hummingbird” is reprinted from Necessity of Flight (Cherry Grove Collections, 2011).


Jane Alynn is a poet, writer, and fine art photographer. She is the author of Necessity of Flight (Cherry Grove, 2011) and a chapbook, Threads & Dust (Finishing Line Press, 2005). In addition to winning Second Place in New South’s 2012 Poetry Contest, she received a William Stafford Award from Washington Poets Association in 2004. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals as well as in many anthologies. Recently, her poems, written in collaboration with visual artists, have been exhibited in galleries, a synergy she also explores in her photographic artwork.


Melinda Mueller

b. 27 November 1757? – d. 26 December 1800

… a wandering beauty is a blade out of its scabbard.
You know how dangerous…

–John Crowe Ransom, Judith of Bethulia

Enter Rosalind, with her legs unsheathed
Of their skirts. Every blade in the theatre
Stands en garde before “Ganymede” has breathed
A line. Such dangerous games are sweeter

The more dangerous. Does wearing breeches
Breach the gates of her virtue? The question
Profits the house. The Crown Prince beseeches
Her, with ardent letters, to indiscretion—

Which is his aphrodisiac. For love,
It seems, he will risk all. Ah, men have died
And worms have eaten them, but not for love.
He leaves her undone and penniless beside.

Beauty, though a weapon wielded by who wears it,
Proves a guardless sword that wounds her when she bares it.


Mary (née Darby) Robinson became famous for her beauty and for her performances at Drury Lane Theatre, particularly in “cross-dressed” roles such as Shakespeare’s Rosalind and Viola. She was mistress for a time to the Prince of Wales, who promised her an annual income in recompense for giving up her profession on the stage—and later reneged. Later in her life, after suffering an illness that left her partially paralyzed, she became known again; this time as a writer of poetry, novels, and essays (including several in defense of the rights of women, such as A Letter to the Women of England on the Injustice of Mental Subordination).
“Men have died from time to time, and worms have eaten them, but not for love” is Rosalind’s reply, in her guise as a young man, to Orlando, when he professes that love will be the death of him (As You Like It, Act IV Scene i).

Melinda Mueller grew up in Montana and Eastern Washington, and has lived in Seattle for 30 years.  She majored in botany at the University of Washington, where she also studied poetry with Nelson Bentley. She teaches high school biology, biotechnology and evolution studies at Seattle Academy.  Her most recent book, What the Ice Gets (Van West & Company, 2000) received a Washington State Book Award (2001), and a “Notable Book” award from the American Library Association (2002).

Mary Lou Sanelli



The sun was hot, the wind calm, the sea
spectacularly blue.

I am not a tourist on this island
drawn to the center of action,
the center stage where hula dancers sway.

I’ve come for the edges, a rocky rim
over a black sand beach, colossal leaves
cupping tiny red fruit.

And to meet my friend’s fiancee

who cuts three mangos down with a knife
(“a man with a knife instead of an iPhone?”
I whispered to Amira, “how manly is this?”)
and, minutes later, sitting cross-legged on sand,
we tore through the reddish-green skin,
juice dripping down our arms.

We swam and walked and swam
some more and I don’t remember every detail
about our sun drenched afternoon
but I do remember how the wind came up
and blew the lid off Kaila’s cooler,
the sand sharp as glass against our cheeks,
and how Amira’s face remained calm,
unfazed, and I remember thinking
she looked a decade younger than the year before
and how this seemed perfectly natural
and fitting.

I remember she smelled of coconut oil
and Kaila smelled of beer, his breath yeasty.

I remember Kaila running up to the truck, opening the door for us.
I remember his strong, hairy forearm held Amira close.
I remember Amira winked, reached for the top of my hand
to give a little squeeze, huge
in meaning, though.

I remember she mouthed the word, lovebirds.

And, oh, how I wanted to believe in that word.
I wanted to believe that Amira may have fallen,
but Alika had caught her. I wanted to believe
he was a man capable of such a catch.

I stared at the two of them. I pretended not to.
I stared some more.

I had this thought that things were going to turn out
“just fine.”

If “just fine” was a man dressed in board shorts and slippahs,
who cared what happened to Amira,
who would give her a sense of home in his little house in Kailua.

I hoped for a man who would not just open our door
but his—I am looking for a better word here, but there is none—heart.

Naturally I heard every other thing I said to myself: “Alika?
Don’t kid yourself. Men like him open only their zippahs.
Don’t let his adorable cottage draped in bougainvillea
fool you otherwise.”

I countered: “Mainland pessimist!
I am fed up listening to you.”

I remember after that exchange
there was a somewhat strained atmosphere in the truck.

If only in my seat.


Mary Lou Sanelli is  the author of seven poetry collections and a recent book of essays,Falling Awake, selected as “one of the most fabulous 2008 Northwest titles” by Seattle writer/reviewer Lesley Thomas. Among FriendsA Memoir was a bookclub choice throughout the country. She is a regular columnist in City Living Magazine for Seattle’s Pacific Publishing Newspapers, as well as for Art Access Magazine, and her commentaries have been aired on Weekend Edition and NPR. She presents her staged reading of her book of the same name, The Immigrant’s Table, throughout the country.


Esther Altshul Helfgott

Letter to Abe

– after Izumi Shikibu, a woman of ancient Japan
with thanks to Jane Hirshfield and The Ink Dark Moon

I’ve written
the story of our years
together, Abe
They still hold me
All of them.

At Thornton Creek
I saw a cormorant sunning
on a rock
I looked for you
but you weren’t there.

I wonder
which galaxy you’re in
Are we still
under the same moon?

I wish I knew
where you were tonight.
I would visit you.
Will you send me a message
soon? I’ll wait.

I don’t remember
yesterday. It’s the same as today.
The only difference is
the planet moved
slightly –

How lucky I
am to have
this chair,
the one you used
to sit in.

It took
you eight years to die.
All that time
I waited for you to get better.
Why didn’t you?

to Mozart , I see
us holding hands,
snuggling in the movies
watching Amadeus.

when I look in the mirror
I see you.
Even our hair is the same—
— curly and mussed.

no longer
a mourner’s

There is
no sorrow in my missing you
only gratefulness
that we have

But on some days
like today
the third anniversary
of your death
my heart longs.


Esther Altshul Helfgott is a nonfiction writer and poet with a PhD in history from the University of Washington. Her work appears in Blue Lyra Review, Journal of Poetry TherapyMaggid, American Imago, Raven Chronicles, Floating Bridge Review, Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease, HistoryLink, The Seattle PI blog pages, and elsewhere. She’s a longtime literary activist, a 2010 Jack Straw poet, and the founder of Seattle’s “It’s About Time Writer’s Reading Series,” now in its 23nd year. Esther’s book, Dear Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Diary & Poems, is forthcoming from Cave Moon Press in 2013. The poem presented here is from her next manuscript, “After Alzheimer’s: Poems & Diary.”


Steven Quig

Going to the Coast


begins with a crush
of drivers not going to the coast,
the crisp, fall evening rushing by your windows,
the warmth from the heater,

darkness of the front seat.
Her hand rests across your thigh.
The damp motel waits quietly for you to arrive
where the manager will greet you

like a favorite nephew, happy
you’re here and press the key to your palm.
“Rm 8” it will say, allowing entrance
to knotty pine and mold,

but you’re not quite there.
You make that turn off the highway
at the red neon—a vacancy for you.
She gently squeezes the back

of your neck, moves her hand
into your hair as the car rolls to a stop,
checks her face in the visor mirror.
You switch off the motor and turn to her,

and the engine ticks as it cools.
Out beyond the beach grass
and the feeble porch lights, the ocean
that you know must be there roars.


Steven Quig’s first experience with writing poetry came as a member of Nelson Bentley’s evening poetry workshop at the University of Washington during the early 1980s.   He now teaches English at North Seattle Community College, and his work has appeared in a number of journals including Poetry Northwest, The Seattle Review, The Climbing Arts, The Memphis State Review, Spitball: The Literary Magazine of Baseball, Pontoon, and others, including Metro’s Poetry on the Buses anthology.