In a new city, I meet the arranged
apartment with green carpets in sad
basement light. When I take
my first walk, a dog rushes
at me and barks for a long while;
I become stone. In the Beacon Hill
market, I ask for a bottle of California
Riesling because already I miss
the terrain I left. The checker tells me
that every morning he thanks the saints
he is alive and eats seven eggs
For a moment, I am loved
by his eyes. This isn’t home
but another place I will dream
of coming back to.
“Runaway” is reprinted from The View from Here.
C. Albert regularly publishes poetry and collage at ink sweat and tears where she is Artist in Residence. Other publications include Wicked Alice, Centrifugal Eye, The View from Here, Monarch Review. . . She is currently conducting experiments with photography and box art.
From the Virgin Journals:
He has a kid and that proves his virility
Or at least proves his knowledge and ability
To take one without being caught
“Stealing Thought” is reprinted from The Virgin Journals (ASD Publishing, 2012).
Travis Laurence Naught is an author who happens to be a quadriplegic wheelchair user. He was named in Eastern Magazine’s 2013 Spring issue as one of 20 under 40 young alumni with rising careers. His poetry memoir, The Virgin Journals (ASD Publishing, 2012), was used as curriculum in an Eastern Washington University disability studies course during spring of 2012. Still Journaling (e-book, 2013) is also widely available. Travis graduated from EWU in 2005 with a BA in psychology and went on to complete coursework for an MS in sport psychology. He lives in Cheney. Coffee and poetry keep Travis alive.
If You Had Seen Them
I saw two Foxes naked in the water
in the alpine lake named Dorothy.
Who knows who those two giggly Butterflies were,
blue dragonflies smooching their wet hairs, their hands,
maybe they were Dorothies?
But placid so quiet
Dorothy floated them luscious,
held their soft bare bottoms
pushing to the sky their adorable triangles
their buoyant romantic hearts
beneath those two pairs of adventurous beast breasts—
alive, flesh and soul, they palavered by a slippery drowned trunk-phallus.
Then, they disappeared;
clothes ate them.
Today, I saw the Fox-Lioness
still rag-eaten, wandering in the city;
in her wishful eyes drifted my alpine image reflected in the lake of her longings,
and there I saw the Fox-Capra, the other Dorothy:
was she also still eaten by her clothes? Where? And doing what?
Ana Karina Luna is a freelancer Art Director and Graphic Designer living in Seattle for 14 years. She is originally from the Northeast of Brasil, where she studied Architecture & Urban Planning. In 2008, craving more art in her existence, she [inherited and] started a letterpress shop in the heart of Central District, called Miss Cline Press. Besides printmaking and poetry, she also experiments with wire sculptures and mixed-media drawings. SheI also loves dancing salsa and samba, and dreams of being a better Flamenco bailaora.
Apartment Music Box
If, in the evening’s lull of twilight thoughts,
one takes to resignations, turns inward,
lets go the world its hints of suppler form,
it’s no surprise to find sublime the dots
upon the ceiling, or the line along the floor,
or, that across the room is far too far—
and that, in a fact of feeling, distance grows
of infinite measure everywhere,
and in all things, and to itself is sworn,
in silent oath—how melodies disclose:
the heart impaled upon a star, the ear.
Caleb Thompson is a founding editor of The Monarch Review. He lives in Seattle.
“Forcing twentieth-century America into a sonnet — gosh, how I hate sonnets — is like putting a crab into a square box. You’ve got to cut his legs off to make him fit. When you get through, you don’t have a crab any more.”
–William Carlos Williams
Dear Doctor Williams, with all due respect
For worlds of pleasure I’ve found in your verse,
On this account I feel I must defect.
I love your offhand lines — “so much for the hearse”
From “Tract” for one — and how you defied the norm,
Filled your poems with ordinary speech
And escaped the strictures of long-standing form
Extending by great lengths the poet’s reach.
But, gosh, the twentieth-century whole?
A crab so large should be delegged, declawed!
Who, dredging such a creature from the shoal,
Would not pull back in horror overawed?
A crab of such size must be cut to fit
Boiled, dipped in butter, eaten bit by bit.
“Boxed Crab” is reprinted from Able Muse.
Steve Potter was active in Seattle’s literary scene as board member and frequent emcee for Red Sky Poetry Theater in the ’90s. He performed at events such as Seattle Poetry Festival, Subtext, Rendezvous Reading Series and Cheap Wine & Poetry sometimes accompanied by guitarist Bill Horist or the sitar/tablas duo Bakshish. He edited an eclectic but short-lived literary magazine called The Wandering Hermit Review. While he keeps a lower profile these days, Potter is writing as much as ever. His work has appeared in journals such as; Able Muse, Blazevox, Drunken Boat, Galatea Resurrects, Knock, Marginalia, Raven Chronicles and Stringtown.
The Very Last Time I Shot a Gun
I don’t recall whose idea it was the two of us
swishing through knee-high clover while
grasshoppers launched in frenzied flight as if they
knew our purpose before we did.
The gun lead-heavy in my hands and BBs rattling
in my Skittle box and his short legs churning
behind me while I watch for poison oak and gopher
holes and the silken weave of milk snakes big
We reach the water’s edge misty-still where our
quarry basks in memories of a lust-filled
night drunk on the endless possibilities
of a pond beneath the stars.
They slip into mud between the reeds but
we wait for their unblinking eyes to
surface then shoot and shoot and shoot until
all bubbles stop rising and the first belly
floats up a creamy pillow of unexpired air.
Later with windows open we listen to mayflies
bounce against the screen and the belly-growl of
far-off thunder and father popping the top off
yet another Bud my while brother whispers
I can’t hear them and he’s right
the baritone call for love is gone and that
aching note of silence is
Stephen Wallenfels launched his writing career with a short story about a lucky chicken’s foot in National Racquetball Magazine in 1985. That developed into ten years of publishing over 100 feature articles, columns and humorous essays for fitness trade journals. During that time he continued to develop his fiction skills and published several short stories for kids and adults. In 2012 he published his debut novel, POD, with Ace, the SciFi imprint of Penguin USA. While writing fiction receives the bulk of his attention, Stephen’s first love of the written word was, (and still is) poetry. He looks forward to courting that relationship again. He lives in Richland.
CALLING MY MOTHER
My mother answers, tells me
she is putting the phone
in her skirt pocket
so she can sit on the couch
in the living room,
put her feet up.
It is evening, after all, the time
when her legs give out.
After so many years in the chill
of her distance, I am carried
in the warm dark of her pocket. I ride
her hip, surrounded
by the muffle of fabric, the squeak
and scrape of her walker
across wood floors,
her labor, the long journey
from kitchen to living room,
and finally the whoosh
of the couch cushions as she sits down,
folds her walker.
Then she lifts us both
out of darkness. When finally
she catches her breath, she holds me
to her cheek. My mother gives me
her voice. She gives me
Laurel Rust is a Washington native. She graduated in English from the UW and was fortunate to take part in Nelson Bentley’s incredible poetry classes. She is the single mother of a now grown son and lives on Orcas Island. In 1998, Brooding Heron Press of Waldron Island, WA, published a chapbook of her work, What Is Given. She has self-published a number of hand bound, small edition chapbooks since then. Her work (stories, poems, and essays) has appeared in Fine Madness, Pandora, Faire, Calyx, Spindrift, Clover, Prune Alley, and Trivia: A Journal of Ideas.
NOVEMBER STORM BREAK
So dense and swift these clouds, it’s the tanned olive
moon that seems to move;
as if into this wind your life will lean
susceptible to imagery, the inwrought
pull of all these metaphors we live
in. Now look—the mien
even of the drape is fraught
with it: coronas, eyes recoiling off
the ceiling; or a gaff
trickles the storm drain; or a stage’s curtain
murmur passing cars; the blowsy skein
of each second, frozen-framed, a tea leaf
scholium, a garden
in a cartoon hurricane.
“November Storm Break” is reprinted from Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry.
Charles Leggett is a professional actor based in Seattle, WA. Recent publications include Bottle Rockets, The Centrifugal Eye, and Cirque. Others include The Lyric and Measure: A Review of Formal Poetry; work is forthcoming in Big Pulp, GlassFire, Constellations and Graze Magazine. His long poem “Premature Tombeau for John Ashbery” was an e-chapbook in the Barnwood Press “Great Find” series.
By the glass, by the portal,
by the water’s window, by the pane
is my boy, having positioned his stroller
by the aquatic gate, I stand and watch
his eyes mimic the walleye,
his mouth become the bass mouth,
his body go still as the scales that hang
in the care of Pisces before us.
He breaks his gaze
to look at me, seeking
assurances I cannot give, the reason
we reside in this space
and not the other.
“Other Space” is reprinted from Crab Creek Review.
Jeremiah Webster‘s poems have appeared in Crab Creek Review, North American Review, Rock & Sling, and Beloit Poetry Journal. His unpublished collection, Crux, was a finalist in this year’s Crab Orchard Review prize. He has written the introduction for a new edition of T. S. Eliot: Paradise in the Waste Land: Early Works (Wiseblood Classics). He lives in Kirkland.
Not to Be Dwelled On
Self-interest cropped up even there,
the day I hoisted three, instead
of the ceremonially called-for two,
spadefuls of loam on top
of the coffin of my friend.
Why shovel more than anybody else?
Why did I think I’d prove? More love
(mud in her eye)? More will to work?
(Her father what, a shirker?) Christ,
what wouldn’t anybody give
to get that gesture back?
She cannot die again; and I
do nothing but re-live.
Reprinted from Upgraded to Serious (Copper Canyon).
Heather McHugh, recipient of a 2009 MacArthur Fellowship, is the author of thirteen books of poetry, translation, and literary essays, including Hinge & Sign: Poems, 1968 – 1993 (Wesleyan) and The Father of the Predicaments (Wesleyan). Her prize-winning translations include a Griffin International Poetry Prize and her volumes have been finalists for both the Pulitzer and the National Book Award. McHugh has taught literature and writing for over three decades, most regularly at the University of Washington in Seattle and in the low residency MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. From 1999 to 2005 she served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, and in 2000 she was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2012 she started a non-profit organization called CAREGIFTED.