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He looked at an apple and held it. When something feels new it can hold your attention when you hold it in your hands. When it’s big it makes you wonder and squint.




The Calling


Glassy eye stares

hooded in its shield

from icy wind that blasts

the so cold howl from rotors above


they follow


the surge of paws, clawed, springing

each bound nearer

talons raking tracks in virgin white

every hot breath over lolling tongue

closer, wetter, drooling

as the caribou fades it’s pace, stumbles

exhaustion tolling

a knell that no one hears but the wind


the pack

bunched, hunched, aching, waiting

close ranks, rub shoulders

a not so virtual press

side by side

in apartments, houses

their control remote

blood pounding with each stride

until they lean closer

zoom in

snap jaws, pierce flesh

tear soul from a throat

that bays it’s last utterance

of despair

a call of the wild

foundered in a bloody slaughter

dash of life, blood red


across snow to the wolves


gasping, sated, replete they click

buttons to ‘Psalms on Sunday’

seeking expiation, absolution

for their brush with life/death




Douglas Pugh lives in Northern Ontario with a logical wife and an insane menagerie. He likes to believe that he fills the gap in the middle. Bleeding words onto a page help with his delusion. When he’s not writing, he’s probably painting or out riding his bike. And thinking about writing more.




Knitting my fears into a dishcloth which I will not keep


Count them. There are five rows

of beans that I haven’t picked.

Weeds will drown them. I have nightmares

with towers of Carolina Hearties that multiply

and cannot stop until I find a canning jar

and paraffin wax. The cellar is empty.

I fake domesticity and I’m afraid someone will notice

that I dropped a stitch in this square.

In my beginner’s book,

they said I can undo mistakes.


I cannot remember how it went.

I don’t make swatches of knitted yarn

and press them, like I’m told. All my dishcloths

come out uneven. Lumpy bean threads

keep my spoons half dirty because I never had an iron

will. The tension in the wool is palatable

because I’m using mixed greens that create texture.

In each loop a bit of dry skin, an eyelash, a tear.




Brenna Dugan recently finished her master’s degree in literature after spending four years in China where she was a teacher and editor. She lives in Michigan with her husband and son. Her poems have been published in literary magazines such as Dash, American Poets Abroad, Italics and Flatlands.





Woman Who Lived on the Smell of Flowers



Her moods are like fogs;

they settle and lift.

Like scents they suffuse

and evaporate.


She had felt nothing.

What use are feelings?

Her thoughts had been her

armor all her life.


Can’t tell them apart,

moods not e-motions.

He’d stayed out all night

doing crack with whores.


Thinking about him

she forgets herself.

When he’s missing it’s

as if she’s not there.


Waiting to be well

she thinks: I will live

when this is over.

And then something else.


Goes to work bruises

covered with makeup.

We rather be slaves

than face the unknown.


When he sees she is

as miserable as

he is he will stop.

It means he loves her.




Bus Ride to Columbus


Industrial landscape

at juncture of earth and sky.

The seams are smokestacks.


A gas storage tank

in the shape of a baseball,

the red seams painted on.


Frost has crusted the crops.

The trucks, even the barns

are bigger than the houses.


In the distance a dust storm

rises. Cloud of locust,

a drizzle falling up.


A sunbeam breaks through

and scales down the sky. All else

is now minuscule.




Alex Cigale’s poems recently appeared in The Cafe, Colorado, Global City, Green Mountains, and North American Review, Drunken Boat, Hanging Loose, McSweeneys,  Zoland Poetry, and are forthcoming in Eleven Eleven, Gargoyle, Redactions, Tar River Poetry and 32 Poems.  His translations from the Russian can be found in Crossing Centuries: the New Generation in Russian Poetry and in The Manhattan and St. Anns reviews. He was born in Chernovtsy, Ukraine and lives in New York City.







Thin ice over concrete crackles underfoot like toasted skin.

You hold out your arms as if this were a tightrope,

and maybe it is. Don’t recall the coworker whose brother fell

taking out the trash on ice like this and died in a coma three days later.

Never mattered after all that he was a chain smoker who

never said no to a beer. Never mattered the red meat gut. It was slick

innocence in the end, something as simple as water taking shape

and it’s strange wonder, us being made up mostly of the stuff

that we can no more conquer it than our fear of it. Out here in subzero

your fingers sting, flesh biting back into bone. You can’t sit down and

send up flares. You’d freeze. Who’d come? Who could carry you

better than you? Keep your arms aloft, eyes downward, this isn’t

anything you don’t understand.








The lake outside stinks of rotting fish and an overgrowth of algae,

but in here floats the salty tang of Insta-Ocean. No slap

of the wave to the bank, only pumped circulation and the churn

of the muscular body turning. The Beluga glides stony white,


shaped oddly as if tumors hunker under the skin.

It skims the surface, drawing air through its gasping hole,

then sinks again to savor the oxygen below, where

the sounds of the crowding children are misshapen. They


jabber and jostle against the tank, hands braced on the bar,

leaning forward as if to leap into the amnion.

The whale surfaces for some of that sticky oxygen,

spurting water into the air, and the children scream


the sweet anguish of the overwhelmed. Their shouts sink

ghostly into the water. I imagine the bar giving way,

children plunging in, their arms flailing, sneakers glancing

off fat whale heads. A nudge from my companion


as their shouts crescendo. We move downstairs

where in the glass eye the whales hang spectral,

their bodies seeming smoothed by the water.

I put my finger to the glass and imagine


that if I trace the outline of that Beluga as it moves,

I would leave a long smudge of clay. My reflection slopes

and swells in the glass. The children above waver,

a mirage. The water is silent until it collides.



Kristen Muir is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was awarded the David and Jean Milofsky Prize in Creative Writing in 2009. Kristen resides in Madison with a pet fish, snow boots, and a deep reverence for tobacco.








So we both saw Michael Caine then, Marco:

you, sometime back in '85 or thereabouts,

in a Mexico city bar;

that time joined by his “hindu”wife,

who also didn't have a word of your language.


They both got into the vibe though: songs to guitar,

all the flow of the“onda mexicana",

and listened with keen interest

to your cousin's excited translations.


My sighting, more at a distance-

a sharp London wind some fifteen years on

(the post a friend and I perched on for view

near numbed our backsides),

outside the Odeon in Leicester Square.


Michael, looking older than I could've imagined,

something grandfatherly in his air.

Pale as ever, his arm wrapped around a now

well-known, then up-and-coming actor;

both riding the crowd's ruffled cheer.


Between those sightings our friendship, a shared sky-

walks stretched out along a coastline

whose beauty would often stop us in our tracks;

life talked and lived out in your mother tongue.

The surprise of these few words in mine.




Michael Lee Rattigan, and my work has appeared online, in magazines (most recently in OtherPoetry) and in book form. Rufus books of Canada published the first complete translation of Fernando Pessoa's Caeiro poems by Michael, along with a chapbook called "Nature Notes."



"The seeds we planted grew into vines and then there were flowers and then they were pumpkins. We cut them and they made long shadows in the afternoon. And we ate them."

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