|Tides of Infinity by Holly Friesen
Way We Were
My Dad had a tattoo. It was a saber.
I thought it was a dachshund.
My Dad liked me because I thought it was a dachshund.
I liked my Dad because he had a saber that looked
like a dachshund.
I like my Grandma because she first saw the dachshund
and didn’t know that it was a saber and screamed
fainted and fell into the pool.
Ricky Garni has been published in MuDjoB, PigeonBike, Disingenuous
Twaddle, VIs a Tergo, Quite Curious Literature, Rufous Salon, Guerilla Pamphlets, Used Furniture Review, Perhaps I Am Wrong
About This World, and a host of other deliciously named periodicals.
announced that he wanted to spend the rest of his
in an abandoned castle by the sea.
It's at times like these I can't say I blame him,
or that I wouldn't want to join him,
be his neighbor,
maybe even share a moat,
spend the day arguing about what Madame Bovary might
have been like in the sack,
sending teasing letters to Julian Barnes about the
real colors of that parrot,
or talking about dancing bears and pitying stars.
I want to be named after a star
or at least have a hurricane named after me.
"Tropical Storm mike Maher. Bombards Cuba."
"Hurricane mike Maher. Breaches the Levees."
Maybe Flaubert just didn't fit in,
like my cousin in seven schools in seven years,
like most birds in Northeastern winters.
The Jersey shoreline doesn't go anywhere when snowfall
because beaches don't die in winter;
they come alive.
She breathes easier with no one stepping on her lungs,
no flat-footed children or beach chair-wielding parents,
no Ken doing Barbie behind the dunes.
Solitude at last,
minus the grizzly old fisherman and his Labrador,
but they aren't unwelcome.
The man stares at a motionless Ferris wheel coming
into view on the pier.
The Lab finds the ruins of a forgotten sand castle.
Moon still visible in the morning sky.
A horseshoe crab washes up.
Mike Maher lives, reads, and writes in the Pennsylvania's
Pocono mountains. Some of his previous work has appeared in Calliope, and he is the recipient of the Martha E. Martin award
for poetry and the Jim Barniak award for Journalism. He is also the founder and editor of Sea Giraffe, an online literary
Jessica Barksdale Inclan
In the strange garage of the old French
house, I found a stationary
bicycle, the pedals
loose, the seat a hard
I rode, spinning nowhere
as I read novels
in a language
I can barely speak.
One the story of a woman
with horrible neighbors.
I still don’t know
what they did to her.
Outside, the holiday August
weather full of sun
and particulate matter.
In the garage, gloom
through a leaded window.
My husband would
hike in the forest,
along the ridge,
come home with tarts,
juice, tales of the baker’s
daughter with the big smile.
Over coffee, I’d have no stories
he wanted to hear,
my thoughts on home
and how once we got there,
I would leave him.
Jessica Barksdale Inclan is the author of twelve novels. Intimate Beings will be re-released in mass market in September 2011. You can read more about her at http://jessicabarksdaleinclan.com/.
Ten Thousand Years
I first ate nori
on the linoleum floor
of the rental, from where
I couldn’t see Nana’s death bed.
Good for immunity, Dad said.
The Beatles sang “Yesterday”
through a derelict radio
as the seaweed pasted itself
to my teeth.
I couldn’t wash
the ocean from my mouth.
Dad dragged me
through the back door
of a late-night
Sac Town sushi bar,
its neon Open sign the same
shade of pink as the tuna display.
The itamae served Dad’s usual--
tongue-like slabs of salmon, shrimp, eel
over rectangles of rice.
He pushed at me
a circle spiral of white
and green glittering
with red tobiko.
Dad dropped a cup of saki
into his beer, raised it, and shouted
I opened my mouth
and closed my eyes.
Leave the rice,
the green paste, brown sauce,
I want bare sashimi
so sweet and easy,
it’s like kissing.
At Kai’s, my children lift bowls
with two hands,
slurp miso, swallow
the tofu whole, nibble
from their fingers, smear
The waitress calls them by name.
their grandfather is pleased
with his bequest.
Patricia Caspers’ manuscript
Life with Fever was a finalist for
the 2009 Many Mountains Moving poetry contest. She is managing fiction editor at Prick
of the Spindle and has work forthcoming from Chest Journal and Spillway.