Keith Moul




This is a local road;
the avenue for everyday movement;
the only direct access for me to local farms;
the gallery for the art of spring wheat, fall wheat
that will go gold among dispersing clouds;
and the twisting road tying the generations.


There must certainly be a road.
But I notice its minimal dimensions.
Spring shoots begin at the road’s edge,
roll up to and beyond the many ridges,
while packing jauntily among their own.


There must certainly be frequent return
(for those like me unsuited to residence);
there must be bread to sustain our lives;
there must be the will to roam this road;
there must be love for local displays of light.





“Generational Ties on the Palouse” appears in Straight Forward Magazine and in Reconsidered Light.



Keith Moul’s latest  full length collection is Reconsidered Light from Broken Publications.  His poems have been published widely for almost 45 years.  Recently two chaps have been released: The Grammar of Mind (2010) from Blue & Yellow Dog Press and Beautiful Agitation (2012) from Red Ochre Press.  He also publishes photos widely.  In fact, in 2010 a poem written to accompany one of Keith’s photos was a Pushcart nominee.



James Gurley


–at the conservation reserve outside London, Ontario–
after E.O. Wilson

The fox came upon us unexpectedly.
He froze and our world narrowed to a span
meters wide. I heard your words
break into fragments. So uneasy–
something so extraordinary
stood close to where we stood. His diaphragm
rising and falling, eyes searching
for any movement that might
betray us. The smell of water, the directional
bend of a plant stalk
mattered. I turned my head
and he vanished. Melted
into abstract description,
that’s just a metaphor for slyness,
malevolence, the implicit threat.
These qualities he channels
into his ability to stay alert.
Alive. It’s nearly dusk; the trees
suffused with dimming light.
We stop by a pond fringed with larch–
rest, still craving a sense
of the mysterious. Your words pour
in and around me, and I want to know the touch
of everything. Described this way,
it’s nothing but a glimpse
of one small animal.
Say it’s only myth: say he looks
at us from his own world. In the end
it’s enough to just believe.


“Biophilia” originally appeared in ARC and in Human Cartography (Truman State University Press, 2002).

James Gurley, originally from North Carolina, has lived in Seattle for over 22 years. He holds an MFA from the University of Montana, where he studied with Richard Hugo. His poems have appeared in American and Canadian journals. He has published two chapbooks, and one full-length collection of poetry, Human Cartography, winner of the T. S. Eliot Award. His writing has been supported with grants from Artist Trust and the Seattle and King County arts commissions, as well as a literary fellowship from the Artist Trust/Washington State Arts Commission.

Anastacia Tolbert

How to Comfort & Say Goodbye


if you were a lost bobtail
i could easily calm you with
warm milk & a ball of yarn
let you get distracted by heat
& color & action
if you were a shiba inu
i’d find any object & throw it
far enough to watch you run
but close enough for you not
to get discouraged at the distance
of the thing you want the most
if you were my baby/us tied
by a bloody chord of spirit &
sacrifice i’d hold you close to my heart
& let you hear something familiar,
something true
let the thump surround sound
you. watch your lips pleat
into a smile.
but you are fear & i don’t know
how to stop your grinding, gnawing
gnashing—as there is no comfort
for separating a thing from its



Anastacia Tolbert’s work is a trellis of twilight, ultramarine ache and lowercase loam. She is a writer, Cave Canem Fellow, Hedgebrook Alumna, EDGE Professional Writers Graduate, VONA alum, creative writing workshop facilitator, documentarian and playwright. She is the recipient of the San Diego Journalism Press Club Award for the article “War Torn.” She is writer, co-director, and co-producer of GOTBREAST? Documentary (2007): a documentary about the views of women regarding breast and body image. Her poetry, fiction and nonfiction have been published or is forthcoming in: WomenArts Quarterly, Specter Magazine, Crab Creek Review, Everyday Other Things, Women Writers in Bloom, Saltwater Quarterly, The Poetry Breakfast, Things Lost, Midnight Tea Book, Reverie, Alehouse Journal, Women. Period., The Drunken Boat, Torch and many others.

Anastacia Tolbert features at Seattle SPIT + OPEN MIC @ Wildrose, 1021 E Pike pm Thursday, January 10 at 8:30 – 10:00 pm.


Suzanne Paola

No Words Lecture Hall


You’re not the boss of me my son screams.
He’s tired, and thirteen, and skidding into
my and his sudden strangeness.
(Who is this woman who leaves her wine out on the swing,
crams wisteria in a drinking glass, can’t find a vase?
Who asks him to quit the 80 decibel belching.
She has grown foreign, and ridiculous.)

He says to me, you embarrass me and he says I don’t want you
in my room

I want to say, I love you. You’re

embarrassing me I love you and I’d
never lock you up. Never let anybody shock you
with 130 volts of electricity through your head.
Stick the bit in your mouth, spread
conducting gel on either side of your fine high

Don’t you understand how huge that is?
Don’t you see how that makes me a good mother?
I do say these things, in my mind.
Even there with a pleading, with a pitched


“No Words Lecture Hall” previously appeared in The New Republic.

Suzanne Paola’s (Susanne Antonetta’s) most recent book, Inventing Family, a memoir and study of adoption, is forthcoming from W.W. Norton. Other books include an environmental memoir, Body Toxic, and two collections of poems, Bardo, winner of the Brittingham Prize, and The Lives of the SaintsAwards for her poetry and prose include a New York Times Notable Book, an American Book Award, a Library Journal Best Science book of the year, a Lenore Marshall Award finalist, a Pushcart prize, and others. She is also coauthor of Tell It Slant: Creating, Refining and Publishing Creative Nonfiction. Her essays and poems have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Orion, Seneca Review and many anthologies, including Short Takes and Lyric Postmodernisms. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, with her husband and son.