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Lucho in the Mangrove Muisne by W.D. Chandler Smith


By Ruth Madievsky


Daniel was in the beanbag chair by the window, rolling a joint and watching people’s umbrellas get turned inside out. I didn’t understand this city. In Seattle, you could tell how long the rain would last by the scent. Pine needles predicted what my mother called “a fickle sprinkle.” Sea salt meant light up the fireplace and get in your flannels. In Los Angeles, the rain always smelled the same: like a cigarette moments after it’s been put out.

“Where do you think they’re going?” Daniel said. He licked the edge of the paper and sealed it with his thumb.

“Who?” I said.

He twitched his head toward the window.

“I’ve seen at least five people in flip flops.”

I watched him light the joint and breathe it in the way my grandfather sucked the marrow from chicken bones.

“Some people have bigger things to worry about than whether their toes get wet,” I said.

Daniel snapped his fingers like I had said something wise. He liked to pretend that passive aggression was poetry. That was one of the reasons, though I couldn’t verbalize it when, after the wine, Aiden was rubbing the small of my back like it was a frightened animal and whispering into my bare shoulder, Why? I told him it was because Daniel didn’t try to know me. In the shower, I realized that wasn’t exactly true. If you deliberately hid parts of yourself so deep beneath the skin that they could not be coaxed out by a tearing away of clothes or a thousand stoned I love yous, but could only be kissed out by lips that clamped down like metal detectors to search every inch of you, it was perhaps unreasonable to expect to ever be known.

“What do you worry about?” Daniel said. His eyes were a murky pink, like cotton candy gone bad.

“Global warming. Everyone I love dying. Life with you. Life without you.”

“You don’t need to worry about that last one.” He exhaled a wispy cloud of smoke. “I’m not going anywhere.”

I thought of the summer, when Daniel and I rode every roller coaster at Disneyland and groped each other on the It’s a Small World ride. The smell of salted popcorn and the breathy moans drowned out as sombreroed couples crooned muy pequeño el mundo es. And then, last week, meeting Aiden at the poetry reading. The burn of his hand on my back, Moscato that tasted like better days, the dry kiss that wasn’t dry for long.

“I know you’re not going anywhere,” I told Daniel. I leaned over to take a hit from his joint, the smoke burning my throat as I inhaled.



Ruth Madievsky studied creative writing and biology at the University of Southern California, where she was awarded the Edward W. Moses Creative Writing Prize. Her fiction and poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as The MacGuffin, The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, Atticus Review, Revolution House, and other journals. She lives and writes in Los Angeles.


Morsi Protests by W.D. Chandler Smith

Strabo’s History

from MOVE: Gorgeous Dream of Flight

by John M. Edwards


When Horace Edwards Turnkey’s translation of the Greek geographer Strabo’s History came out, needless to say it caused a minor sensation in the literary world.

Most people had never heard of this exploratory Asiatic Greek of Amasia in Pontus, who had studied at Nysa and Rome sometime after 44 B.C. Strabo, peradventure the first real literary travel writer on the planet, who had seen a large chunk of Italy, The Black Sea, Asia Minor, Egypt as far as Ethiopia (where some people think the Jews originally came from before moving to Carthage, then Egypt, then the Levant), and parts of Greece, was known mostly for his 17-volume work titled Geography.

Horace Edwards Turnkey claimed he had acquired the heretofore “lost work” History from a German archaeologist, who had discovered it during a dig in “Hellenic” Anatolia. Horace Edwards Turnkey was the toast of the Zeitgeist. Until it was discovered that he spake neither Latin nor Greek. Nor did he have the correct linguistic skills to actually achieve any kind of legitimate translation at all.

It also looked suspicious to everybody else that Horace Edwards Turnkey was featured on NPR with talking head Ion Freeman, plugging his book, when the honorable host announced, “Turnkey claims to have translated ‘Strabo’s History.’ And, sir, how long did that take you?”

Horace Edwards Turnkey was trapped in a conundrum.

O, how he longed to escape into Plato’s copy universe, where everything has its pure idealized form within another dimension. But now all he could think of was the complexity of swirling atoms assaulting his photophobia like fireflies, blinking rapidly under the Klieg lights, and the fact that he had most recently dispatched (for the first time ever) a wonderful turkey and cranberry “submarine sandwich” on his maiden-voyage visit to Manhattan Island, which was filled with swarthy strangers with cruel iconoclastic eye.

Horace Edwards Turnkey had at least eleven minutes to spare for this interview, since he still reckoned time from the Julian calendar from circa 45 B.C. The winter solstice was among us.

“I-I-I didn’t actually translate it per se; a 'presence' told me the story, and I wrote it down,“ Horace Edwards Turnkey defended.

“So, what you are trying to say is that your book is a made-up story!”

“No. I recorded Strabo himself reciting it during a séance, and I wrote it down during a series of excruciatingly painful channeling episodes.”

The artsyfartsy news anchor laughed menacingly.

“You, my friend, are a charlatan!”

Canned laughter, echoing-ing-ing, like an insult in Caravaggio's Ear.

With the last minute (no, fifty-nine seconds) running out, Horace Edwards Turnkey somehow managed, “I was the first person in history to tap into the Ancient Mind!”

Horace Edwards Turnkey’s History was soon relegated from the best-seller lists to late-night talk-show jokes, with complete humiliation in front of carefully selected studio audiences.

Back in the Tristate Area town in which he lived far away from his native Brooklyn, once America’s fourth largest estate and now just a borough of dunces, Horace Edwards Turnkey faced his own astrophysical oblivion, worse than being a character in Jean Paul Sartre’s Nausea.

 Or, “No Exit.”

Horace Edwards Turnkey stayed up late every night to see what those grinning cancerous mannequins and ignoramus smear campaigners would say about him next, blah-blah-blahing inside the glowbox, vowing revenge on the rank intelligentsia which had exposed and discredited him.

Only Horace Edwards Turnkey knew what all this was supposed to be about: NASA probes such as the “Viking” could not yet rediscover the lost continent of Atlantis, where Plutonium-powered winged chariots and Archimedes-invented death rays supposedly came from. Anyone who has seen a Steve Reeves “Hercules” film dubbed into English (once a Roman trading language)—the embodiment of convincing evidence that film technology already existed in Ancient Greece before it was lost—could tell you that much.

 At night, Horace Edwards Turnkey dreamed of the Ancients and World Conquest, as well as staking a claim on owning a Tiberian villa on Anacapri, especially since he fancied that he was related to Caesar Augustus, who ushered in the Pax Romana. Horace Edwards Turnkey was awfully quite fond of “lemoncello.”

In the end, Horace Edwards Turnkey bequeathed his “discoveries” to a time capsule to not be opened until mankind was at last forever stamped off the face of the earth.

“I was there! I saw! Veni Vidi Vici!”

Horace Edwards Turnkey shouted out expletives every night until he was blue in the face, overheard by his frightened neighbors, their fingers cradling the 911 buttons, amid the sounds of heavy furniture moving around and wine bottles breaking on the Hellespont.


John M. Edwards, an award-winning travel writer and Mayflower descendant directly related to William Bradfield, has written for such magazines as CNN Traveler,, Islands, and North American Review.

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