Richard Wakefield

At the River


From Mary’s Peak the valley’s slow descent

to southward gave our river sweeping wide

meanders. Six or seven miles it went

to cover two or three, from side to side.

Around the stones and over fallen trees

I heard it breathe a languid vowel that fell

from snowfields, sounds suspended through the freeze

of winter, whispered now as if to tell

the secret cold to every lowland field.

Along the banks the trees in colonnade

traced out the vein of water they concealed.

On August evenings families sought the shade

to picnic there, and on the hottest nights

brought cots and strung their tents from lines between

the trees. I lay and watched their lantern lights

blink out upstream and down, then from unseen

encampments heard their voices droning low,

inhaled the scents of cattle, cedar, hay.

Beneath it all I heard the river flow,

forever saying what it had to say.

The farms where all the people lived are gone,

the people gone to graves – or town. The land

lies fallow. Yet the river murmurs on,

some days in words I almost understand.


Richard Wakefield has been a reviewer and critic for the Seattle Times since 1985 and has taught writing and American literature at various colleges in the Seattle area since 1979.  His first collection of poems, East of Early Winters, was published by the University of Evansville Press and won the Richard Wilbur Award in 2006.  His collection A Vertical Mile was published by Able Muse Press in 2012.  He and his wife, Catherine, live in Federal Way and have two grown daughters.



Jeanne Yeasting



She wanted a diacritical mark on her forehead.  Something to set her apart.  Not in a lightning bolt something-dreadful-happened-to-me-as-a-child and now I’m cursed (or blessed?) sort of way.  An umlaut, perhaps, or an aigu or grave.  Some mark to keep her from getting lost in the thicket of talk, to show where emphasis resides.  Something stochastic, ekphrastic, lingua-fantastic – some barking mark a listener could discern, distinguish, know – that varies with a conversation’s weather.  A signpost to visibly map her moods, to show the world she’s listening to whatever random, perchance profound, perchance unlikely, words are being said.  Something to say “right!” – attention paid; the right note struck, and resounding.



Jeanne Yeasting is a poet and visual artist.  She lives in Bellingham, and teaches creative writing at Western Washington University.

David D. Horowitz



I’m an ounce
Of flit and bounce,
An inch
Of hop and flinch.
I chirp and chatter,
Perch and scatter,
Alert, still:
The world can kill
And think it doesn’t matter.


“Sparrow” is reprinted from ArtWord Quarterly and Resin from the Rain (Rose Alley Press, 2002).


David D. Horowitz founded and manages Rose Alley Press. His most recent poetry collections, published by Rose Alley, are Sky Above the Temple and Stars Beyond the Battlesmoke. His poems and essays have appeared in numerous journals, including The Lyric, Candelabrum, The New Formalist, The Smoking Poet, and Exterminating Angel. David has edited and published two Northwest poetry anthologies: Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range and Many Trails to the Summit. He frequently organizes poetry readings in the Puget Sound region and in 2005 received the PoetsWest Award for his contributions to Northwest literature.

Suzanne Bottelli

xxxxxxxxxxxxxcento for Thomas Merton


our weakness should not terrify
xxxxxxxxit is the source of our strength
and if I stand back and considerxxxxxxxxmyself and You
xxxxxxxxas if something had passed between us
is that contemplation?xxxxxxxxxxI will inevitably see
xxxxxxxxthe gap between usxxxxxxxxxxmy mind
making a noise like a bankxxxxxxthere is only one vocation
xxxxxxxxdistance from all thingsxxxxxx a lament
as rough and clean as stonexxxxxI wish it were over –
xxxxxxxxI wish it were begun



Suzanne Bottelli grew up in New Jersey and lives in Seattle, where she is a Humanities teacher and an Environment program coordinator at The Northwest School.  Her poems have appeared in Fine Madness, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, and West Branch, among others.  She has received GAP awards from Artist Trust, as well as a Seattle Arts Commission Literary Artist award.  Her collection A Visual Glossary of the Physical World has not been published but was a semi-finalist for Eastern Washington University Press’ Blue Lynx Prize and a finalist for Black Lawrence Press’ St. Lawrence Book Award.  Bottelli is currently working on a book-length poem that is located in the Watchung Mountains of New Jersey.  This work investigates the geologic, environmental, and social layers of the region roughtly between the Passaic and Raritan Rivers, including the “deserted village” of Feltville.

Amy Schrader

A Proverb


Your byword to my nayword. Check
& mate, my shining knight. Marriage is more
than four legs in a bed. Bare & backed
by bone. I killed & BBQ’ed the boar,

another eats his flesh. Sweetest & sliced
near the marrow. Narrow hallway, narrow
mind. I’m out of mine & out of sight.
Out of words, which we let fly like arrows

raining down. Like cats & all. Despite
the fact you’re skinned & hung, you’re looking
like a king. I’m watching you. You despot;
you cloak your eyes & steal the cream.

So curiosity is killing us.
My dress is black & backless.



“A Proverb” is reprinted from The Journal.

Amy Schrader holds an MFA in poetry from the University of Washington. She was a recipient of a 2008 Artist Trust Grants for Artist Projects (GAP) award, and her poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in Coconut, The Journal, ILK, Bateau, and the Fairy Tale Review. She lives in Seattle.

Cora Goss-Grubbs

Morning Rite



Cora Goss-Grubbs lives in Woodinville, WA, with her spouse and two sons, in a house sandwiched between a wetland and a blueberry farm. Her work has appeared online at Literary Mama, and Diverse Voices Quarterly (Pg. 39). Her poems and essays have been published in She’s Shameless: Women write about growing up, rocking out and fighting back by Tightrope Books; Pontoon 10, an anthology of Washington State Poets; and Calyx: A Journal of Art and Literature by Women. She is a 1998 and 2010 Hedgebrook alumna and 2003 Jack Straw Productions writer-in-residence. Currently Cora is working on a young adult novel.

Rachel Kessler


Parade of Fences


Donkey Fence. Brown Corduroy Suit Holiday High-jumping Fence. Cyclops’ Golden Grasses Fence. Spying Bushes Fence. Teenage Angst and Loneliness Fence. Tangerine Bikini Fence. Masking Tape and Wrath in Shared Bedroom Fence. Ancient Stone Fence. Family Religion Fence. Electric Fence. No Fooling Barbed Wire Fence. Angry Bull On the Other Side of This Fence Fence. Creaky Chainlink Gate Leading to Unplanned Pregnancy Fence. Falling Down Fence. Fence for Napping. Fence Without Hope. Wet Phone Books Fence. Garden Hose Wielded as Weapon Fence. Hedge Full of Surprising Thorns Fence. Invisible Fence. Useless Deer-proof Netting Fence. Bad Dog Barking Fence. Idealistic Fabric Hung By Hopeful Young Mother Trying to Be a Writer Fence. Small Children Hanging from Mother’s Limbs (Including Accidental Labial Grab) Fence. Horrible Grin Fence.



Rachel Kessler is a poet of the everyday.  She is a founding member of the Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society. For the past ten years, these critically acclaimed groups have been writing collaborative poetry and presenting their work in the form of text-based art installations, interactive multi-media shows, and collaboratively written handmade books.  Her collaborative poems have appeared in Tin House, TATE, and USA Today. She recently launched her “Public Health Poems” interactive hand-washing installation in public restrooms throughout the city of Seattle.

Vis-a-Vis Society will present their work at The Frye Art Museum, Sunday, January 6, 3:30PM – FREE!

Rachel Kessler will read at Cheap Wine & Poetry at the Hugo House on Thursday, Jan 17, 7:00 pm.


A K Mimi Allin

this is a self portrait
about what constrains me
what keep me from my happiness

i’ve been at peace in a balanced place
& i’ve been wildly happy when the scales were tipped toward paradise so long as i have something to explore

i’m chasing a certain kind of knowledge
a certain kind of awake

the art of living
will flower from me one day

no matter how sparse it seems
i can alter the world to get what i need

what constrains me
is the doubt of no reply
i’m having transparent dreams again
it all means nothing

my view of myself is distorted
but perhaps distorting is defining
& defacing can unveil

what does that mean?

food water purpose
that’s what i’m looking for

the buddhists ensure me
i come readymade with purpose
but sometimes it seems unso

no is not a happy place
no is a hole in a trampoline
yes is about freedom choices time
yes is an engine

what keeps me from making
the work i know i need to make?
the inevitable thing?
the only thing? the way forward?
confidence single mindedness definition

lack of focus holds me back
20 things i feel lukewarm about
or the one thing that sets me on fire
i try to listen to the nagging thing
mongolia mongolia mongolia

since wealth denies me
poverty will have to define me
without money i make different art
use fewer materials
an artist doesn’t need to make a thing
an artist can suggest a thing
i’ve learned to be suggestive
to take people partway
which leaves them work to do
for which they must move & grow

what do i fear?
i fear getting rid of everything
& walking away like a penitent
so that’s exactly what i want to do

i fear stasis & wasting time
& that is not what i want to do
but i know it is good for me
boats grant me that
so i have a boat

i fear not being brilliant
& there is no cure for that

i want to have nothing to take
so i have nothing to lose

boredom is also freedom
but boredom is a luxury
that must be bought

i want the freedom that comes with poverty i want a red sweater & time to see it unravel one peach should matter more than a crate full of peaches

i make meaning to correct the world
does it need correcting? no
what needs changing? i do
what resists change? i do

when i feel myself getting diluted by society i retreat & ask myself who am i? what do i want?
i quickly realize i do not want
what others want
this helps

what stalls my art?
a never ending trip to the mirror
trap doors falling floors
the committee of should
expectations lovers nostalgia misunderstandings these same things drive my art

i do not wish to make of my art a business i can live without everything but meaning though i do need to see a dentist

to what am i bound? on what do i rely?
where are my buffers? am i too comfortable?
ease heat music walls the known thing.. get rid of these

the stuff i found in the center of my spirit took away my reasons for making art for 6 months i made nothing why would i do this or that superficial thing when i knew what i knew about spirit?
it might be good & clever but who cares
this isn’t about clever
this is about growth

my art
is it pure?
is it relevant?
does it change anything?
what needs changing? i do
what resists change? i do

i have trouble making connections
between my emotions & experiences
there are no real lines between money & work a vocation is a vocation is a vocation

what constrains me defines me
thank you for seeing this



A K Mimi Allin has twice crossed the Pacific Ocean by boat, has worked as a climbing ranger on Mt Rainier and has served in the Peace Corps. Allin lives and works as an artist in Seattle WA. She holds an MA in Writing from The City College of New York. Her performance-installations have premiered at the Seattle Art Museum, The Olympic Sculpture Park, Bumbershoot, Smoke Farm, Tether Gallery, Artscapes, ArtSparks, Arts Crush, Guiding Lights, ACT Theatre and Litfuse in Tieton. In 2006, Mimi became a household name for her yearlong project “The Poetess at Green Lake.” In January 2010, she fulfilled a self-designed residency at NBBJ Design & Architecture Firm to become the nation’s 1st Corporate Poet. And in the summer of 2011, she drew a line around 14,410′ Mount Rainier with her body to effect “Tahoma Kora,” a 36-mile, 65-day prostrating circumnavigation. At the heart of Allin’s work is the pursuit of home and the search for the sacred. She is interested in the potential of ritual, inquiry and quest to act as catalysts for personal growth, inviting her audience to transform by transforming herself. Her art often takes her outside and involves physical labor, time spent inhabiting, activating, redefining spaces. To sate her desire for feedback, and because she believes it is through the community that we know ourselves, she builds triggers into her work that ask the audience to speak and participate.

Nicole Hardy

Mud Flap Girl on Teen Talk Barbie


Everyone knows I’m not into clothes, but
you go to the mall, girlfriend; knock yourself
uptown, little Ms. Bad Influence. What
else can you do when you’re pulled from the shelf

for expressing yourself. Here’s what I think:
math class is supposed to be tough. Take that
to any best selling, self-helping shrink:
she’ll say your stellar scores on the GMAT

and your supreme self-esteem can be traced
to childhood success at difficult tasks.
So when Jane’s math anxiety gets placed
on your plastic ass, remind them you passed—

and then pulled off a string of successes
in more careers than Skipper has dresses.


According to a New York Times article published October 21, 1992, Mattel’s Teen Talk Barbie was widely criticized by a national women’s group for saying “math class is tough.” The Barbie remained in stores, but the computer chip that randomly selected four phrases for each doll thereafter picked from 269 selections, not 270.


Nicole Hardy’s memoir, Confessions of a Latter-Day Virgin is forthcoming through Hyperion/Voice in 2013. Her work has appeared in the New York Times as well as many literary journals. She’s the author of a poetry collection and a chapbook:This Blonde, and Mud Flap Girl’s XX Guide to Facial Profiling.

Gail Tremblay

Meditation on The Dalles Dam
for Lillian Pitt


Electricity is humming in a spider web of lines
as copper wires cased in rubber cross the land;
what sorrow builds in this sound that only whines

where the thunder of water no longer combines
with a wild rush of salmon so close at hand?
Electricity is humming in a spider web of lines.

Where fish runs were rich, everything declines.
No one explains how a body can withstand
The sorrow that builds in this sound that only whines.

Fishermen stood on scaffolds amid the steep inclines
of rock; water foamed before the flow was dammed
so electricity could hum in a spider web of lines.

Rocks watched while men made strange designs
To swell the river to places no rush of water planned.
What sorrow grows when the new sound only whines?

The bodies of old ones wash out of ancient shrines—
how can the spirits of the dead learn to understand
the electricity that hums in a spider web of lines.
What sorrow builds in this sound that only whines?


From Wikipedia:  Celilo Falls (Wyam, meaning “echo of falling water” or “sound of water upon the rocks,” in several native languages) was a tribal fishing area on the Columbia River, just east of the Cascade Mountains, on what is today the border between Oregon and Washington. The name refers to a series of cascades and waterfalls on the river, as well as to the native settlements and trading villages that existed there in various configurations for 15,000 years. Celilo was the oldest continuously inhabited community on the North American continent until 1957, when the falls and nearby settlements were submerged by the construction of The Dalles Dam.


Gail Tremblay is a descendant of Onondaga and Micmac ancestors. She resides in Olympia, WA and has been an artist, writer, and cultural critic for over thirty years. She shares a unique vision through her multi-media visual works, art installations, her writing on Native American Art, and her poetry. She is a professor at The Evergreen State College, where she has mentored students in the fields of visual arts, writing, Native American and cultural studies. Her book of poems, Indian Singing, was published by Calyx Press, and her poetry is widely anthologized and poems have been translated into French, German, Spanish, and Japanese and published internationally.