A Good Cause
Feature Author Interview: Agate Nesaule
Poetry II
Poetry III
Fiction II
Fiction III
Cigar Lounge
Z's Reviews
J. Conrad's Reviews
Links & Resources
Submission Guidelines
Second Annual Short Story Contest Guidelines
The Editors


Photo by Jay Peasley

Catherine McGuire




One little solar flare  

a tongue from the sun, lapping

our Allen Belts, stroking our ether

like a lion licks a cat

not sure, friend or meal?

Such attention frazzles nano-nerves.


One large flare, like the hot breath of God

and all our microwaves are toast

our carbon filaments, hard drive

circuitry   the little robots that deliver pills

along hospital halls  all gone awry

GPS’s AWOL; autopilot doesn’t;

all but the beater cars brain-dead, flatlining;

the new digital tv so scrambled it makes

Rubic’s Cube seem like Legos.

No ring tones, no Twitter

no online homework for kids;

bank statements, bills swallowed

even online poetry zines dodo-dead

part of a history securely sedimented

in deep-fried chips and drives.


Our etheric sandcastles

defy the tide, betting

against cycles, against karmic wheels

giving our inbreath of History

heroic stature; sculpting ephemera

with the summery confidence

of mayflies.


Looking cautiously in both directions

I have sharpened my supply of pencils.





Death of Ibid


The petrified fossil of a dead language

sometimes dug up at the bottom

of pages; tiny fragment, carefully numbered;

little tern of a word scattering tracks

through my books


Ah, ibid  tucked away in the crates

of memory; Latin class star and literary cart horse

you have hefted many a reference

with deft grace.


But this four-inch tome in my lap

has gone native, swapping

my lovely sleek ibid for a 5-point “the same”;

studding the footnotes with moron-level text,

dumping Latin in deference to those

who barely note the feet.


Stunned at this heresy; I pray

it was renegade; schismatic

as flash-pan as lava lamps, pet rocks, punk.

To whom do I write to save this species?

Who speaks for an endangered citation?

Ibid, please stet.



An award-winning poet, Catherine McGuire has been published online, in many wide- and small-circulation print magazines, and overseas in the past two decades. Close to 100 poems have appeared in publications, including MReview, Portland Lights Anthology, Folio, Tapjoe and Adagio. She has published a chapbook, “Joy Into Stillness: Seasons of Lake Quinault, and is newsletter editor of Oregon State Poetry Association.


Peter Magliocco


Beast Shaken by Doves in a Vanishing Video Poker Game

(Memorial Day, 1999)


in the ordinary heart of things

Ive the right to be a Poetry Derelict

scrawling meaningless words in cyberworlds

hoping to forestall the marriage

of art with commerce

or whatever makes me scream

for your memory

on the long graveyard shifts

when time disappears into voidspace

as the transients face leers scornfully

at the twisted fistful of tokens

we have stolen from vanquished

pockets you once sang mantras to

the lint of all forsaken tangibles

in a handful of spent spunk


& still your invisible smile

hibernates beyond my need

to shape the air

with your undrawn



showing that shattered mirror

of our deceitful



yet dont believe

my homeless words

of old passions



on the lips

of old soldiers

like myself still living

for the royal flush

in an upside-down game

we freefall into






the other




Peter Magliocco edits the lit-zine ART:MAG from Las Vegas, Nevada, and has forthcoming work in Heeltap and A Hudson View Poetry Digest. His new novel, The Burgher of Virtual Eden, will be published in 2009. He was Pushcart nominated for poetry in 2008.


Catherine McLean




Morning comes.

The molten sun that hangs

over empty eastern waste lands of dirt, weeds and plastic bags

sears my pale eyes and skin like a dragon’s breath.

We wait patiently, overfed sun-burnt tourists in

straw hats, running sweat.

Beside us a ragged group of barefoot watermen

eye our camcorders and fanny packs.


The river Ganges,

a sheet of shimmering bronze, conceals the corpses

of the freshly dead the diseased, the leprous, the holy,

the innocent newborn.

They are wrapped and weighed with stones,

thrown like anchors into the swirling eddies of the sacred river. 



the sodden ashes and cracked bones

of garden-variety pilgrims, three hundred daily,

are shoveled from the fire pits straight into the shallows of the Ganges

to be borne on their final journey to the sea.


Hindus believe it is bad luck

to die on the wrong side of the great river.

Those unfortunates will return as donkeys

beaten, braying, fornicating, dying

through endless loops of karma.


The lucky ones

Die on the sunny side, and soar straight to Nirvana,

which dwells somewhere among the crumbling raja palaces

and centuries-old temple spires

overlooking the smoky crematoriums and open fire pits.


The lucky ones

drag their hollow bodies to the ghats of the river

and drink its holy waters,

bathe, swim, brush teeth, toss their garbage.

Gangrenous water bottles, swollen oranges,

disposable diapers float among the bathers.


Occasionally a cadaver,

anchored with stones and ropes,

breaks free of its moorings and bursts to the surface,

an oozing puffball ready for capture

on the digital memories of tourist boats

drifting up and down the swirling waters.

Skeletal rowing men, at eighty cents an hour,

pull the oars and count themselves

among the lucky ones.


We pay our fare

and are rowed across the great river,

passing energetic morning swimmers

in Speedo suits, glistening brown

muscles and white smiles.


The cracked and empty land of the eastern shore

Is deserted by all but a few bony garbage pickers

sifting through shoreline detritus,

and a troop of howling monkeys.

We do not get out, not trusting our luck. 



Catherine McLean is a writer and multi-media artist living in Vancouver, Canada. Her poetry, non-fiction and short fiction works frequently focus on global issues. Her most recent project is a collection of poems to be released this year, entitled Mountain Ice, dedicated to the impoverished children of Nepal.


Feedback, submissions, ideas? Email