Jeff Crandall

I Am Your Winged Torso of Eros

“Everything breakable in you has been broken . . .”
— Daniel Hall

Archival air belies the dirt they drew me from.
My wings lie crumbled in that ground still.
(Fingers marked unknown in a Reykjavik museum,
one ear completes a French recruiter’s stall.)
Fluorescence pours its green on all of us.
Why then return to face this embarrassment
of cracks and absence, blind luck and loss?

You’ve got it wrong (in sneakers and jeans, the docent’s
sneeze, the guidebook’s backward fold): Let me go
into the world: part saffron-dusted swallowtail,
part fountain jazz, wine and laughlines. The stone
heart erodes, forgotten as a pearl in its fossil shell.
Take, instead, the light sighs . . . I am broken,
yes, but broken like bread — a piece for everyone.


Jeff Crandall is a poet and artist living in Seattle.

Derek Sheffield

Mosses, Slugs, and Mount Rainier

Roethke’s last words to me: “Beefeater all right?”
–Nelson Bentley (1918 – 1990)


Leaning forward, cupping an ear
For every student reader, he loved a great refrain
Tinctured with mosses, slugs, and Mount Rainier.

When critics passed over his vision of rapture,
He licked a pencil and penned “Letter to Robert Hayden.”
Leaning forward, cupping an ear,

Students in the back row heard him swear
Roethke’s song could match the mind of Auden.
Tinctured with mosses, slugs, and Mount Rainier,

His classes spilled to the Blue Moon’s bar
For Bud and Blake and windows mottled with rain.
Leaning forward, cupping an ear,

He mouthed words like smoke, dusk, and cincture.
As the Denny clock rang another noon
Tinctured with mosses, slugs, and Mount Rainier,

He gave us our sonnets with circled clutter:
Omit? O, in every concise beauty, Nelson
Leans forward and cups a wakeful ear
Tinctured with mosses, slugs, and Mount Rainier.



“Mosses, Slugs, and Mount Rainier” is for Professor Nelson Bentley who taught at the University of Washington from 1952 to 1989. This poem was published in Limbs of the Pine, Peaks of the Range: Poems by Twenty-Six Pacific Northwest Poets (Rose Alley, 2007).

Derek Sheffield’s A Revised Account of the West won the Hazel Lipa Environmental Chapbook Award judged by Debra Marquart. His full-length collection was runner-up for the 2012 Emily Dickinson First Book Award. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The Georgia Review, Orion, The Southern Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review,  Terrain, and Wilderness, and he is the recent winner of an Artist Trust Literary Fellowship. He lives with his family outside Leavenworth, WA, and teaches poetry and nature writing at Wenatchee Valley College.

Carolyne Wright

“This dream the world is having about itself….”

–William Stafford

won’t let us go. The western sky gathers
its thunderclouds. It has no urgent need

of us. That summer in our late teens we
walked all evening through town–let’s say Cheyenne–

we were sisters at the prairie’s edge: I
who dreamed between sage-green pages, and you

a girl who feared you’d die in your twenties.
Both of us barefoot, wearing light summer

dresses from the Thirties, our mother’s good
old days, when she still believed she could live

anywhere, before her generation
won the War and moved on through the Forties.

As we walked, a riderless tricycle
rolled out slowly from a carport, fathers

watered lawns along the subdivisions’
treeless streets. We walked past the last houses

and out of the Fifties, the Oregon
trail opened beneath our feet like the dream

of a furrow turned over by plough blades
and watered by Sacajawea’s tears.

What did the fathers think by then, dropping
their hoses without protest as we girls

disappeared into the Sixties? We walked
all night, skirting the hurricane-force winds

in our frontier skirts so that the weather
forecasts for the Seventies could come true,

the Arapahoe’s final treaties for
the inland ranges could fulfill themselves

ahead of the building sprees. We walked on
but where was our mother by then? Your lungs

were filling with summer storms, and my eyes
blurred before unrefracted glacial lakes.

Limousines started out from country inns
at the center of town, they meant to drive

our grandparents deep into their eighties.
Our mother in her remodeled kitchen

whispered our names into her cordless phone
but before the Nineties were over, both

of you were gone. Mother’s breath was shadow
but her heart beat strong all the way in to

the cloud wall. You carried your final thoughts
almost to the millennium’s edge, where

the westward-leaning sky might have told us
our vocation: in open fields, we would

watch the trail deepen in brilliant shadow
and dream all the decades ahead of us.

In memory of my sister


“This dream the world is having about itself…” was winner of the Firman Houghton Award, published in The Iowa Review, reprinted in The Best American Poetry 2009 and in The Pushcart Prize XXXIV: Best of the Small Presses.


Carolyne Wright has published nine books and chapbooks of poetry, a collection of essays, and four volumes of translations from Spanish and Bengali. Her latest book is Mania Klepto: the Book of Eulene (Turning Point, 2011). Her previous collection, A Change of Maps (Lost Horse Press, 2006), finalist for the Idaho Prize and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award from the PSA, won the 2007 IPPY Bronze Award. Seasons of Mangoes and Brainfire (Carnegie Mellon UP/EWU Books, 2nd edition 2005) won the Blue Lynx Prize and American Book Award. She is editing an anthology on women and the work place for Lost Horse Press. A Seattle native who studied with Elizabeth Bishop and Richard Hugo, Wright has been a visiting writer at colleges, universities, schools, and conferences around the country. She moved back to Seattle in 2005, and teaches for the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts’ Whidbey Writers Workshop MFA Program, and for Hugo House.

Student Poem

Little Magics


They loved pie, and the small
chew toy in the yard.
They loved the pat
and the emotional tug of a friend,
they loved run on sentences.
They loved the higgeldy piggeldy topsy-turvy
up and down over and out sound.
They looked at the glass
purred and ate.
They popcorned, gnawed, and
squeaked, and they loved it.
They hid, then scratched.
They hated that.
They loved helicopters
and screaming for no reason.
They loved skipping
the middle and going to the end.
They loved mixing and
not matching.
They enjoyed poems
They loved words
They loved and loved
every sound and feel of all the
little magics
They loved song
They smiled at Alexander
the Great, and they understood
every second.
They loved chicken
They loved me.
They loved random hum
like messy classrooms
and they loved sayings
and not endings.


Cameron was a fifth grader at View Ridge Elementary when he wrote “Little Magics.”  He worked with me through the Writers in the Schools program in Seattle.

Shann Ray

I wonder if suicides aren’t in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life. Václav Havel


Are there any real questions
to be asked anymore?

Like the one you asked
when we walked

among blue spruce mountains
and saw a yellow butterfly

stumbling over the cattails
along the river.

Why does water sometimes pause
and seem to run against itself before going on?

Lord knows, we need
the light in these loyal mountains.

I won’t forget the night
you placed your hands on the back of my head.

I had my face in my arms but
I heard the absolute heaven
saying do not be afraid.



Shann Ray is a poet and prose writer whose work has appeared in Best New Poets, McSweeney’s, and Poetry International. A National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, he is the winner of the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference Bakeless Prize, the Subterrain Poetry Prize, and the Crab Creek Review Fiction Award. He is the author of American Masculine (Graywolf), and Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity (Rowman & Littlefield). He lives with his wife and three daughters in Spokane where he teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University.

Monica Schley

For Beth Fleenor


That fig tree attracts wasps. They get wobbly
in the heady fermented fruit

flying lazily on the summer wind
like some Sinatra party guest after martinis.

Masts clang down the hill in the harbor.
Another siren calls while the dusk wraps its ethered scarf

around the neighborhood and the raccoon,
in his nocturnal wonder, takes one look at the tree

to see his paradise, his destiny, like a moth
sees his paramour flame, he knows

he will reach supreme love
from the bright fig at the crown

now illuminated by the moon. The limbs
are as soft as quartz, scratching easily

as he climbs up & up & up.
Drawn out is this moment of reaching—

the way he scampers on the thin branches for footing,
stretching towards splendor, there it is: a purple sack,

a Lilliputian’s laundry bag. He touches as high
as he can without falling. And then he does

manage to clip the fruit with his paw
joyously dropping into his mouth, the wet

and juicy center. A smile perhaps
and laughter at the bulging size of the fig

which in one second slides down his throat
but gets stuck. And there is our raccoon—

on tip-toes in the moonlight at the height of his happiness
in the tree choking. After that there is a fall,

followed by the brief silence of being airborne
before landing at the crux of two crossed branches

that bounce of the sudden glottal stop. Uh-oh.

Everyone is gone from the house to have heard
the accident, but in the morning they find him

strange fruit hanging from the Mediterranean tree.
And so he is plucked (apprehensively)

his soft furry body like a forgotten gym bag
stuffed with stinky socks. He is processioned in a bizarre majesty

down the street on the shovel used to dig his grave.
Now he rests in the old apple orchard

of the abandoned house (half burned out in decay)
there beneath the one oak tree covered

in ivy vines that in a few years from now
will have a small fig tree in its shadow

that started from the seed
in the raccoon’s belly.



Monica Schley earned a BA from UW-Eau Claire (in her native Wisconsin) where she studied poetry and harp. As a poet, her work has appeared in Burnside Review; Cranky; Cream City Review; Crab Creek Review; KNOCK and other journals. Her chapbook Black Eden: Nocturnes (Pudding House Press) was published in 2009 and also doubles as a performance piece with dance/spoken word/music. As a musician, she has worked with some of the Northwest’s mostly highly respected composers and performers including: Jim Knapp; Eyvand Kang; Jherek Bischoff; Lori Goldston; Jesse Sykes; Damien Jurado and many others. She is currently working on recording an album of her own music and poetry and being a new mother. Concert calendar can be found at:


Martha Silano

It’s All Gravy


a gravy with little brown specks
a gravy from the juices in a pan

the pan you could have dumped in the sink
now a carnival of flavor waiting to be scraped

loosened with splashes of milk of water of wine
let it cook let it thicken let it be spooned or poured

over bird over bovine over swine
the gravy of the cosmos bubbling

beside the resting now lifted to the table
gravy like an ongoing conversation

Uncle Benny’s pork-pie hat
a child’s peculiar way of saying emergency

seamlessly      with sides of potato of carrot of corn
seamlessly      while each door handle sings its own song

while giant cicadas ricochet off cycads and jellyfish sting
a gravy like the ether they swore the planets swam through

luminiferous      millions of times less dense than air
ubiquitous         impossible to define a gravy like the God

Newton paid respect to when he argued
that to keep it all in balance to keep it from collapsing

to keep all the stars and planets from colliding
sometimes He had to intervene

a benevolent meddling like the hand
that stirs and stirs as the liquid steams

obvious and simple      everything and nothing
my gravy your gravy our gravy      the cosmological constant’s

glutinous gravy      an iridescent and variably pulsing gravy
the gravy of implosion      a dying-that-births-duodenoms gravy

gravy of doulas of dictionaries and of gold
the hand stirs      the liquid steams

and we heap the groaning platter with glistening
the celestial chef looking on as we lift our plates

lick them like a cat come back from a heavenly spin
because there is oxygen in our blood

because there is calcium in our bones
because all of us were cooked

in the gleaming Viking range
of the stars


“It’s All Gravy” is reprinted from The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception (Saturnalia Books, 2011).



Martha Silano is the author of What the Truth Tastes Like (Nightshade Press), Blue Positive (Steel Toe Books), and The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, chosen by Campbell McGrath as the winner of the 2010 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in North American Review, Paris Review, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry 2009, Poetry Northwest, and elsewhere. Martha has received fellowships and grants from The University of Arizona Poetry Center, Seattle Arts Commission, Washington State 4Culture, and Washington State Artist’s Trust. She teaches at Bellevue College, near her home in Seattle, WA.


Samuel Green


We knew he was different,
the one who called a pause
in our pasture baseball once,
the quiet, oldest son, still living
at home. He’d been to the store
& was taking a shortcut back. Stop,
he said, & we did, letting bats
& gloves dangle. From this angle
you could be . . .
& he named
a constellation none of us knew
from school or Scouts. We were playing
work-up. I’d just hit an easy out
toward the cow flop we used for third,
a pop fly that rose like a soiled moon
before tumbling into the pocket
of Frankie’s Ted Williams mitt
with a wet plop. That’s when the man said
Stop, said we looked like stars in a field
of sky, said we should imagine each of us
a billion miles apart. For a moment
it scared us, so much sudden distance
from each flaring heart, & then
he shuffled away toward the sagging wire
fence, taking with him the Greek
name that for a moment helped him see
some sort of earthly sense.


“Constellations” is forthcoming in Clover 

Samuel Green was born in Sedro-Woolley, Washington, and raised in the nearby
fishing and mill town of Anacortes. After four years in the military, including service in
Antarctica and South Vietnam, he attended college under the Veterans Vocational
Rehabilitation Program, earning degrees from Highline Community College and
Western Washington University (B.A. & M.A.). A 36-year veteran as a Poet-in-the-
Schools, he has taught in literally hundreds of classrooms around Washington State. He
has also been a Visiting Professor at Southern Utah University, Western Wyoming
Community College, Colorado College, and served nine winter terms as Distinguished
Visiting Northwest Writer at Seattle University, as well as nine summers in Ireland.
Poems have appeared in hundreds of journals, including Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Poet &
Critic, Poetry East, Southern Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner,
and Puerto del Sol. Among his ten collections of poems are Vertebrae: Poems 1972-1994 (Eastern Washington University Press) and The Grace of Necessity (Carnegie-Mellon University Press), which won the 2008 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. He has lived for 29 years off the grid on remote Waldron Island off the Washington coast in a log house he built himself after living in a tent for three years. He is, with his wife, Sally, Co-Editor of the award-winning Brooding Heron Press, which produces fine, letterpressed volumes. In December, 2007, he was named by Governor Christine Gregoire to a two-year term as the Inaugural Poet Laureate for the State of Washington. In January of 2009, he was awarded a National
Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry, and was a member of the NEA’s poetry
panel for the 2011 fellowships.

Student Poem

This is the poem



This person is Taylor, whose wacky noises and lip piercings
tell a story all its own.

This person is Tyler, who’s always there to put the broken pieces of shattered reality back together.

This person is April, who’s home to me, a mom, who’s always there for me.

This person is Dawson, whose jokes hold then shatter like the fiery explosions of the fourth.

This person is Corey, who’s due to be a dad, and who’s waiting for the day the water slides.

This person is Britney, who’s Corey’s first real love, and who is also waiting for the water to slide.

This person is Virginia, who’s quiet and shy, a little misunderstood. But, she is my best friend.

This person is Shanon, who’s outspoken, sometimes funny but a little pushy.

This person is Hay Hay, who’s always here at Marshall, and who’s always there to help bail me out of an NC in math class.

This person is Tabitha, who’s been a sister to me my whole life, but was never blood related.

This person is Anastasia, who’s Tabitha’s daughter, and who’s a little bit obsessed with littlest pet shop, and moshi monsters.

This person is Jaden, who’s Tabitha’s son, and who’s obsessed with video games just like his deadbeat of a dad.

This person is Cindy, who’s psycho, a compulsive liar, and a bad case to be Shanon’s mom.

This person is Ron, who’s always tried to hard to make everyone happy.

This person is Marge, whose love kept me happy as a child, but the only thing i have of hers, a necklace, only brings sorrow.

This person is Dee, who’s a second mother, and who shows that no matter what, you can power through any obstacle.

This person is Joe, whose heart is always in the right place.

This person is from my dream, who’s helped me look at the brighter side of things.

This person is Leroy, whose love for his workshop, wife, children, and grandchildren, like me, show us to cherish the time we have together, cuz life doesn’t last for eternity.

This person is My Father, who’s always haunting my dreams never stopping once to let me forget all he’s done to me.

This person is me, a girl who’s always searching for meaning in this world, like a single river looking to find a vast ocean.



Teah is an eighth grader at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Olympia. Thank you, Teah.

Sibyl James

Twisp, Washington


Back east, they’d call these foothills mountain,
but you learn to map a different scale here
where the road west of you keeps rising
into a pass closed Thanksgiving to April,
where yards of rusted Ford bodies
and wringer washers aren’t lack of pride
but history to people that don’t read books,
a comfort of real things to talk
and tinker about, drawing off the restlessness
that comes between Saturday nights.

You could live a good winter here,
rent rooms in any grey weathered house
and watch the snow shift on porch chairs
left out ready for spring. Eat venison
and brown gravy at the Branding Iron
every Sunday, and walk it off
on the ridge behind the old copper mine
with that pack of scavenger horses and mules
snorting at your heels, and your own breath clouds
frozen at your lips like cartoon speech.
You won’t need much talk here
where the names of things get crystal
and definite as that frozen air, something to exchange
hand to mittened hand on the morning bridge.
“Neighbor” is the guy who takes your shift
the day the baby’s born. “Love”’s the years
of Saturday nights she’s held your head above the john.

When the sawmill shuts down, the quiet
goes sharp and ebony behind a fine mesh of stars.
The creek runs louder than the road then, a sound
drawing you out to walk until the frost patterns your eyes,
and the cold burns in your blood like a hunger
for coffee and wood smoke, turning you back to town.

In one good winter, you could get so solitary here
that you’d forget the name for lonely,
until the spring came, surprised you
like the sound of ice breaking under the bridge.
It would be the day you swept the snow from porch chairs,
the night you stayed past closing in the Branding Iron
while the waitress shared Wild Turkey on the house,
let you talk until she turned the empty bottle over,
smiling, handing you the news the pass was open,
like a word she’d dusted off that morning
and knew you’d just turned foreign enough to use.



Sibyl James has published nine books, including The Adventures of Stout Mama (fiction), China Beats (poetry) and, most recently, The Last Woro Woro to Treichville: A West African Memoir. She has taught in the US, China, Mexico, and–as Fulbright professor–Tunisia and Cote d’Ivoire.