Meghan McClure

Potential Energy


is energy stored within a system.
More specifically, energy of position.
He is on his knees,
she is on her back.
There is potential. There is energy.
Like all things, mass plays a role.
As does his height above her
and the gravitational acceleration
with which the events occur.
She is left with bruises
of force and potential.
If he calls tomorrow it is only one
possible outcome.
Another is that he marries her friend
or takes his dog to the park.
An object may have potential energy
as the result of many variables:
gravity, electricity, magnetic pull, or elasticity.
All of these are useful when converting
potential energy to kinetic.
Her elasticity impresses him;
he calls tomorrow.
The outcome is measured in jewels.


“Potential Energy” previously appeared in Superstition Review and Floating Bridge Review.

Meghan McClure lives in Auburn, Washington and studies at the Rainier Writing Workshop, the MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University. She helps edit A River & Sound Review and her work has been published in Mid-American Review, roger: an art & literary journal, Superstition Review, Bluestem, and Floating Bridge Review.


Dana Guthrie Martin

Our Story


I thought I knew what I wanted to say
about language, but all I can think of now
is my father on the lake, his rod bent,                                                                                                                                            our anticipation
of what would happen next — a fish

writhing in the boat near our feet
as my mother tried to lift it into the cooler,
one last look at its not-yet-clouding eye
before we slid the cooler’s lid into place.                                                                                                                          When the line went lax

and we lost one, we were suddenly not.
Not family, not unified, not defined                                                                                                                        against what could have been:
the thrill, the fear, the sadness of what we,
together, had done. We were not organized

around the words capture and gut and dinner
and sport. We were wordless — indistinct
from boat, lake, countryside, gravel roads.
How would we become us again,                                                                                                                                                  without the body

we gathered for? Without that single word —
fish — and all it held, holding us apart
as other, as separate from, as living?


“Our Story” originally appeared in Knockout Literary Magazine.

Dana Guthrie Martin’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Barrow Street, Boxcar Poetry Review, Failbetter, Hobble Creek Review, Knockout Literary Magazine and Vinyl Poetry. Her chapbooks include In the Space Where I Was (Hyacinth Girl Press, forthcoming), Toward What Is Awful (YesYes Books, 2012) and The Spare Room (Blood Pudding Press, 2009). She edits Cascadia Review, an online poetry journal that showcases work by poets in the Cascadia bioregion.



Luke Johnson

Late Quartets


At home, the deaf boy must spend his days
with a piano he does not play. His small white hands
stay tucked in pockets under overlong t-shirts
that brush his knees. No one in the house plays.

The boy avoids the room where the piano collects
silence, sees his mother as a woman recollecting
girlhood, her shape defining a sundress as she stands
fingertips extended toward the keys, understanding

again the texture of familiar sound, counting one,
two, and a pause here as if she were waiting for her son
to answer three, four. She cannot see him crouched
back-to-the-stairwell. She can only see out

the bay-window to afternoon. It must be fall. It is cold
and there are leaves. This is not music, but keeping time:
a way of acknowledging what we’ve been told
we cannot choose: seasons, ourselves, our family.


“Late Quartets” originally appeared in The Threepenny Review.

Luke Johnson is the author of the poetry collection After the Ark (New York Quarterly Books, 2011). His poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Beloit Poetry Journal, New England Review, The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. His work has been featured on Poetry Daily and Verse Daily, and has twice appeared in the Best New Poets anthology. He lives and works in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

Karen Entrantt

Baby Girle


Baby Girle,
Sit down
Take off ur too-high designer shoes.
Put ur Coach/designer x bag down.
Rub ur hurting feet.
pull them up til the heels can feel the cushion in the chair.
Or Stretch them out on the coffee table–
I know it’s beautiful/fav stuff on it
but juss thys once, push it aside,
Stretch ur feet out & close ur eyes!
And juss be still for a minute.
No music. No ipod. no x-box.
Juss u & ur long loss/neglected friend–
No thoughts about ray-ray/nae/niqua/or the dude u really like;
but he don’t know it!
Juss U & Silence.
Silence will guide u, 2
Go upstairs.
Take off all ur
Pull ur hair back.
Wash all the make-up off ur face, body.
Run a hot bubble bath.
Like u used to do back n the day.
No fancy label, juss somethin w/ good bubbles.
Get in & juss submerge all of u
Into the mystery of lathering/soothin/bubbles…
U close ur eyes, surrendering 2 the comfort of the bubbles…
U seemed to have drifted between the wurlds…
U hear a soft soothin voice

But Baby Girle, there are many around u
who never died.
There’s the Ancestral Governing Council
led by Mother Matriarche herself…
The Chief Elders & the Scrybes–
They are where u really came from,
that’s ur tribe!
Scrybes choose to live a different life than most
Becuz they know the real deal–more than most!
Go back 2 letting Simplicity be ur guide also.
She can show u how to look good & not be almost nekit;
she can help u save $ cuz u don’t have 2 buy the new
thing soon as it comes on the market.
She can remind u of ur own inner integrity & that u don’t
have to compromise urself or ur values, juss so ur not alone
or juss so u can have a man hold you through the nite.
She’ll remind u ur worthy of man that’ll be around
in the day-lite 2.
Ur house ain’t on fire, u don’t need a rescue.
In the Silence u will Always be guides what to
U’ll see u no longer have to sacrifice ur Self-esteem..for—you know what!
U Baby Girle are Worthy of the Best…
U wake up..feelin as though tyme has stood still…
And evry bubble is still in place…
Until u realize those aren’t bubbles, but tears on ur face



Dr. Karen Entrantt, Ph.D,  is an author, poet-performer, and creative writing instructor. She has been writing poetry and short stories since the 4th grade.  Her style of writing and poetry performances leave audiences sitting on the edge of their seats in anticipation of more!  She has performed at The ACT Theater, Town Hall  with Poetry + Motion.  Her first book is I Found My Voice! (also available on Amazon and various Seattle book stores). Her second book, The Amplification of My Voice: Another level of Expression! will be out August 2012. She lives in Seattle.



PM5 – Baby Girle from Poetry+Motion on Vimeo.

Marvin Bell

The Book of the Dead Man (Rhino)

Live as if you were already dead.
Zen admonition

1. About the Dead Man and the Rhino

The dead man rode a rhino into Congress.
An odd-toed ungulate in the Congress, and no one blinked.
It was the lobbyist from Hell, the rhino that ate Tokyo, a lightning strike in their dark                     dreams.
A ton of megafauna, and nowhere for a senator to hide.
I’m gonna get you, says the momentum of a rhino.
The rhino has been said to stamp out fires, and the dead man hopes it is true.
He steered the beast to the hotheaded, the flaming racist, the fiery pork-barreler, the                  sweating vestiges of white power.
The dead man’s revolutionary rhino trampled the many well-heeled lawmakers who stood           in the way.
He flattens the cardboard tigers, he crushes the inflated blowhards, he squashes the                cupcakes of warfare.
Oh, he makes them into blocks of bone like those of compacted BMWs.


2. More About the Dead Man and the Rhino

The dead man’s rhino was not overkill, don’t think it.
He was, and is, the rough beast whose hour had come round at last.
The dead man’s rhino did not slouch, but impaled the hardest cases among the                            incumbents.
The committee chair who thought a rhino horn an aphrodisiac found out.
The dead man’s rhino came sans his guards, the oxpeckers.
He was ridden willingly, bareback, he did not expect to survive, he would live to be a                    martyr.
The rhino’s horn, known to overcome fevers and convulsions, cleared, for a time, the halls          of Congress.
The senators who send other people’s children into battle fled.
They reassembled in the cloakroom, they went on with their deal-making.
They agreed it takes a tough skin to be a rhino.


“The Book of the Dead Man (Rhino)” appears in Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems, published by Copper Canyon Press.


Three books by Marvin Bell were released in 2011: Vertigo: The Living Dead Man Poems (Copper Canyon); Whiteout,a collaboration with photographer Nathan Lyons, (Lodima); and a children’s picture book, based on the poem, “A Primer about the Flag”  (Candlewick). Since 1985, he has split the year between Port Townsend and Iowa City. For many years Flannery O’Connor Professor of Letters at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he teaches now for the brief-residency MFA based in Oregon at Pacific University, One can see a brief interview with him about writing in the literary video series  “On the Fly,”  and others at Drunken Boat,  Arch Literary Journal, and Poetry Kit.



Lindsey Walker

My Kitchen Can Beat Up Your Kitchen


My sweet tea is a song played on a saw.
My sweet tea is the bluest yodel,
the bone-chill fog raking fingers down the Unicois.
The throats of those who’ve ever tasted
hum with the wanting
of my sweet tea.

The stovetop moans
under grease splatter; red coils
smoke spilled peanut brine.
Linoleum cracked, peeled, scuffed.
My kitchen testifies
in odors of cornbread and orange pekoe.

My catfish is crusted with the dry tears
of freshwater mermaids, their brown fins muddy,
their whiskers!
My catfish is fried in fat rendered from cherubs,
the batter crisps, the flesh yields.
All tongues rejoice in glossolalia,
for the salivating
salvation of my catfish.

My okra hops a train, rides the rail
all the way up to Chattanooga.
My collard greens evangelize the feet
of adventurers before they enter my kitchen.
My dumplings hotwire a Cadillac made of teeth;
they hold the uvula for ransom.

The stockpot boils over, yellow froth
off sweet potatoes. My kitchen
is haunted by ghosts
wielding flour sifters, whose recipes
in graphite curl with broth steam.
My kitchen is a wishbone
I snap in half.


Lindsey Walker is a poet and writer originally from Chattanooga. She has won the Loft Poetry Contest, the League for Innovation Award for essay, and the Whidbey Writers Workshop Students’ Choice Award for fiction. Her work has been published a little in print and a lot online, recently by Your Hands, Your Mouth, the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and P.Q. Leer. Her poetry will be featured in the upcoming issue of Third Wednesday. She lives in Seattle with a boy and a dog.

Judith Roche

The Husbands


I married them for all the wrong reasons.
One for sex, another for a boat,
though the boat wasn’t for me
but for the son left behind
from the sex I married the first one for.
But it was the daughter I carried inside
when I married the first one.
There were others but they
didn’t quite count as husbands.

The third I didn’t even marry.
He read me poems in bed
and left little behind, nothing of any value.
But the pain turned out about the same.
And then there was my daughter,
steady, there through all of it,
watching me with blue owl eyes,
thinking, is this the way you do it?

We had boat enough to teach us
of the sea, the beauty of fish,
the son’s love for water.
The first left me my daughter and my son,
both, my dawn, noon, sunset, and night.

The husbands are all far away now,
two into that great good night–
strange to have outlived them.
The third, off in his own mysteries.
They surface in my dreams,
sometimes even the others join in,
as lions, as kings, as husbands.
They all blend together, vivid,
purring loudly and shape-shifting.
I love them – or him –
the one Great Husband,
for whom
I am still a wife.


Judith Roche is the author of three poetry collections, most recently, Wisdom of the Body, an American Book Award winner, which was also nominated for a Pushcart. She has published widely in various journals and magazines, and has poems installed on several Seattle area public art projects, including  installations at the Brightwater Treatment Plant in King County. She has written extensively about our native salmon and edited First Fish, First People, Salmon Tales of the North Pacific and has salmon poems installed at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle. She has been Distinguished Northwest Writer-in-Residence at Seattle University, has taught at Cornish College of the Arts, and currently teaches at Richard Hugo House and around the state for the Humanities Washington Inquiring Mind series.

Anne McDuffie


A Thought in the Shape of a Bird

A thought in the shape of a bird
unfolds its subtle origami in three beats:
leaf / wren / leaf.


A gesture in the shape of habit
worrying the pavement for seeds,
its tail tipped straight up.


Calder’s “Eagle,” fades red
into the chestnuts beside the museum.
The great, hooked beak, the cocked tail


distinctly flanged and wren-like, though I’m not sure
it is a tail. There’s no body here—
only line and curve, weld and bolt,


the scattershot lines of something
I’ve seen before. Tail, brow, beak.
Or glide, spread, crouch.


I can’t account for the piece that stands
straight up—


until a crow alights on top
and casts a languid eye on this poor human
scrabbling over the wet grass below,


and I feel a jot of pity for the wren
who spasms into flight at my approach,
stitching escape across each retina.


This wren
squats in my path, with the gravity
of a dead thing. Only a leaf


I’ve overtaken now, passed by
while the mind keeps circling,
watching for movement, some flash or flicker under the surface.


That’s the meat calling. And the mind,
with its inquisitive talons, will answer. Will tip itself over
into the pure line of its sight


and fall.




A Thought in the Shape of a Bird” originally appeared in Crab Creek Review.



Anne McDuffie writes essays, poetry and book reviews. Her work has appeared in Colorado Review, Crab Creek Review, A River and Sound Review, Rattle, American Book Review and the anthology, Short Takes: Brief Encounters with Contemporary Nonfiction (Norton, 2005). She received her MFA in 2007 from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University, and lives in Seattle, WA.