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The Editors

"Double Self Portrait Through the Looking Glass," photography by Eleanor Bennett

Shelbi Markham





Fields blended

into a golden strip,

sun at my back.

Green sigh, in focus for

only a second:




Shelbi Markham is an almost graduate of a high school in Kansas and will be studying journalism and English at Kansas State University.





Phillip R. Polefrone






“Like when that cat,” I ask,

“stood smiling on the branch pile,

its tail suspended by a string to the sky,

its paws aimed downward, taut—


or was it more the cat’s tail,

appearing from the branch path

at the moment

that you see it?


The cloud pulled tight

by two bigger clouds,

its tiny fingers

bent to breaking,


or the little spring flower

bent over, sick,

the line of its shadow,

gone forever to the grass?”


She says: “It is the low keel

of your straight body,


it is the branch pile itself,

regardless of the cat,


the lines among the pebble path

twisted with no light


leading God-knows-where

in evening,


the ceiling fan, slowing,

stopping, unneeded.”


“The breath,” I say, “released.”


“Before it is released.”






And the Wind




The desert, and many unerring voices.

He sat for hours. The wind


a gaping decanter

and three voices reducing


to one, speaking clearly,

feigning veils of sand, saying


something he doesn’t

understand. A year


of mirrored stories.





Thin land, flat land:


a thin line of land

without any bodies


and all gradations flattened

without any bodies.


A line spreads of a sudden

forever in all directions;


it rends its shirt and screams.


In the desert the voices reduce in throes

and he no longer puzzles their numbers.





For a year in search of voices

in the desert,


for a year no longer sitting

among the murmured errors.


In a desert there are voices:

His voice, some truth,


the stories becoming a myth of truth

and a desert full of voices.




Phillip R. Polefrone's poems have appeared in or are forthcoming from: Other Poetry; Word Riot; A Clean, Well-Lighted Place; Counterexample Poetics; Quantum Poetry Magazine; Yes, Poetry; and The Broome Street Review. His essays have appeared in The Cossack Review and Mercer Street. He lives in Brooklyn, by the river.

Sara Clancy




There is such a thing as too

much beauty, you know.

By that I don't mean


the surrender of Scorpius

to the surface

of a summer pond,

or the crevasse,

loaned its blue

by an indifferent

wheeling sky.

I mean the vulnerability


of shale, broken open

to reveal its excruciating

history in amethyst,

or the moment

you offer up your


sad spent optimism

like sweets in an open bowl.



Sara Clancy graduated from the writer's program at the University of Wisconsin long ago. Among other places, her poems have appeared in The Madison Review, Teemings, Houseboat and Owen Wister Review. She lives in the Desert Southwest with her husband and dog.

Eira Needham



Captive Bred


While creatures pace inside enclosures,

stalking tourists make exposures

of the sights

at feeding time. The beasts can’t prowl

for prey, but feast on joints and fowl.

These chosen bites


replace the chase to capture food

appeasing natural aptitude,

with this buffet.

The herds stampede to peer behind

the prison bars where life’s confined.

Without dismay,


they see the concrete habitats

bestowed upon these graceful cats.

Once roaming through

the wild as savage predators,

today they're chased by editors

for their debut


in Wildlife Magazine, a glint

of nature’s beauty posed in print.

This masquerade

is captured by elitist vultures

for a glimpse beyond their culture’s




Eira Needham was born in Seven Sisters, a small mining village in South Wales. She has lived most of herlife in Birmingham, UK, and began writing poetry in 2002. Her poetry is eclectic and has been published in print and online. Recent publications include Touch, the Journal of Healing, West Ward Quarterly, Cyclamen and Swords and Green Silk.

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Summer 2012 Issue