Brendan McBreen

imagine me
a stranger

I consider myself to be a stranger everywhere.
-Albert Einstein

imagine the wave

center it
……… a spherical lake

……… free space

waves of electrons

………..with paper swans

……… the outer edge
…………………..of time

how could I ever tell you

I want to be a woman

I want
……… be a swan

rose print paper
petals scattered

………..on fire

I want to fold myself

………………….into myself



“imagine me a stranger” is reprinted from the delinquent.


Brendan McBreen is a member of and a facilitator in Auburn’s Striped Water Poets. Brendan has been published in various places, including: Leading Edge, Bellowing Arc, bottle rockets, Origami Condom and Crab Creek Review. Brendan enjoys haiku, surrealism, cats, teriyaki, is an artist, and has a collection of crow feathers, stuffed lions, and plastic aquarium plants, but no aquarium.  He lives in Pacific, Washington.

Chrysania Marie Monroe

Still Estranged Family Photo


We all look
directly at the camera.
In children, it is called parallel play.
It looks like interaction.

My father stands between his wife
and me, a hand on both a shoulder of hers
and mine, his body leaning toward her,
his head slightly closer to mine.

We all wear black sweatshirts,
except the baby who is drop-dead
in the center. One day he will understand
why blending in is important.
He shares their DNA.

My father’s wife’s daughter
is there too. No one is touching her.
She is intellectually befuddled, functional,
and capable of breeding.
I cannot compete.

Rays of the stranger looking at us
as a singular flash makes us visible.
This light is a shock.

Neither my father nor I
satisfy. These people, this stranger
with the fully attentive mouth.
His age must have kept his lips
from lifting but perhaps the lean got me,
or maybe the hand.
I show teeth.

I keep us in my wallet
because he won’t.



Chrysania Marie Monroe is a young woman in Washington studying at a community college and works part time at a local coffee shop. Having always loved storytelling, she primarily focuses on poetry and performance theater. “Artists should be zealously well-rounded creatures.” This is her first publication.

Ann Spiers

Bunker Trail, Vashon Island


……..New Year’s Eve (8 p.m.)
His body is well dressed
in wool coat and heavy gloves.
His body rides the currents
from the Narrows
north up Colvos Straits,
passes our iced windows
to beach on Dolphin Point.

His body is covered
with care in wool and knit.

……..New Year’s Eve (Midnight)
Sandbags are a mesh of smell,
dormant in stacks of dozens.

Each beach has a load of sand
that migrates back and forth.
We shovel load after load
into bellies of sandbags
in the night and north wind.

Sandbags have a rough stink,
hemp, creosote, and sea mire.

……..New Year (3 a.m.)
For decades, I did this dream,
waking deeper, blacker into its hole.

The cabin splinters, waves work
dark rafters and pilings akimbo,
exposing chairs, children’s bunks.
The fire settles to a fizzle.
Elated to get the task over,

I lean in, pulling our sons
up and up, by the wrists.


“Bunker Trail, Vashon Island” is reprinted from 13th Moon, then Nature of an Island, and is forthcoming in Bunker Trail (Finishing Line Press).


A Washington native, Ann Spiers is the current Vashon Island Poet Laureate. Her recent chapbooks are Bunker Trail (Finishing Line Press, forthcoming), What Rain Does (Egress Studio Press, Bellingham), A Wild Taste (May Day Press, Shelton), and Long Climb into Grace (FootHills Publ., New York). She leads workshops developing poem cycles for chapbooks.