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30 September Rally in Quito by W.D. Chandler Smith

James Valvis



The Acts of Vengeance Chance Can Do


I remember you were beautiful once too,

your hair like fire on the snow of your face.

You weren’t always an adulteress

and I wasn’t the fool standing outside.


Your hair like fire on the snow of your face,

the way you looked standing with him.

And I wasn’t the fool standing outside

who threw the brick at his parked car.


The way you looked standing with him,

the way you held him by the window.

Who threw the brick at his parked car?

I don’t know.  I really wish I did.


The way you held him by the window

was the way you used to hold me.

I don’t know.  I really wish I did

what the man who threw the brick did.


Was the way you used to hold me

just another of your little lies?

What the man who threw the brick did

let no man tear asunder.


Just another of your little lies.

I didn’t throw the brick.

Let no man tear asunder

the acts of vengeance chance can do.


You weren’t always an adulteress.

I didn’t throw the brick.

The acts of vengeance chance can do:

I remember you were beautiful once too.



James Valvis is the author of How To Say Goodbye (Aortic Books, 2011). His poems or stories have appeared in journals such as Anderbo, Arts & Letters, Barrow Street, Hanging Loose, LA Review, Nimrod, Rattle, River Styx, Vestal Review, and many others. His poetry has been featured in Verse Daily and the Best American Poetry website. His fiction was chosen for the 2013 Sundress Best of the Net. A former U.S. Army soldier, he lives near Seattle, Washington.

Christopher Barnes


Filming ‘Blood Shot Silk’ – Deleted Scene (25)


For this scene…I’ll screen off vigor...

Grotto-altar overwhelmed with photos –

Some Goddess

In a beggarly peep-show lair.

Bend the eye to inspection…

The silkiest cloak, floating on a hook,

A downthrown shoulder,

Pill-box hat –

A highlighting of dead time.




Filming ‘Blood Shot Silk’ – Deleted Scene (28)


A string-section clambers its incidents.

Fustian trails at an unshut hatch.  Cut to…

Candle-light across a jade wall –

An exponential, mischief-making Star,

Crystalline lipstick, hurled-back hair.

We’re interned

Into the transitory

Where in a low-angled shot

An Actor fluffs his lines.



Christopher Barnes is the winner of the Northern Arts Writers Award.  His poetry collection, Lovebites, was published by Chanticleer Press in 2005.



Marguerite Keil Flanders




My father has not yet come

to an end, but he no longer

knows if his brothers are alive.

He has lost names and details,

like stones swallowed  by high tide.

I can almost hear his mind

clicking like fingernails

under a cool white handkerchief.

He is trying and sorting and trying.


At the shore he faces the water,

swings his arms in circles to warm

his muscles.  He talks constantly,

asks me again how old he is, as if

the question establishes our connection,

as if my answer, ninety one,

proves he is still on earth.


Sun snaps at our backs,

and he tells me a dream from last night:

he was holding a drawer full of his things,

carried and tipped them all into the ocean.


The breeze draws him forward, he turns,

throws himself backwards into the water,

his scrawny frame sends up splashes

with each stroke.

Here he is absolved of all his fears.


I feel his emptying, though I know

there is more pain and release to come.

But the drawer has been spilled,

and he has already started to say goodbye.



Marguerite Keil Flanders is a member of Ocean State Poets, an outreach group whose mission is to give voice to those who may not feel heard. Her work has appeared in The Main Street Rag, Nimrod International Journal, Comstock Review, Poetry East, Caesura, and other literary magazines.


Dana Guthrie Martin




The farmer hacks beside his house,

its clapboard and cracked windows,


the peeling paint of his life flecked

by leaf-shadow from an ash tree


that leans toward him. Earth powders

underfoot, smothers air. Mornings like this,


the farmer goes breathless at his daughter

turning woman all at once, like a light


flipped on in the kitchen that can never

be switched off—not as she milks cows,


spreads hay, attends to the everyday.

He sees the way men watch her, even


her own kin. At night, the farmer gasps

against his wife’s light skin, her dark hair,


her black mood. Her body is the moon,

When the wind blows, the house barely


breathes. The farmer relives a dust storm

that knocked his horses on their sides—


their dirt-encrusted nostrils, their mouths

open wide, how they fell where they stood


and closed their eyes, each set of lungs

parting an inner sea of red soil.







There was cold outside, and heat. Light that stunned

an unaccustomed eye. Night was not as dark

as it was inside.


                            (Who loves a calf the way they love

a child? Who tends her wounds, clears her mouth

and nose?)


                   When I was born, my family told me

something had to die so I could begin in my own right.


(The calf’s front hooves, yellow as nicotine stains.

The calf’s pink legs.)


                                   When I didn’t breathe, my mother

filled the air with the command to honor the God

who had chosen me.


                                     (My brother takes the limbs and pulls hard.

Covers the nasal passages tight.)


                                                          I was born choking

my way into the dry air of summer.


                                                               (The calf shuddered

then released, her hair still slick with fluid, body heavy

as clay.)


               I was told only one of us could live another day.





Hanford Site, 1958



We find radioactive rabbit dung

up to two thousand acres from the site.

We find radioactive coyote dung.

We assume the coyotes found the rabbits

                                            in their burrows and ate them.


We have come to expect deaths out here

where no one will miss the dead—

more prey and predator where these came from.


We have come to expect—no, to anticipate—

                                 the larger death for which we gather

while our wives give birth and keep house,

while we file in and out, in and out

                                                        as we are told.


We burrow inside the site and inside our homes,

hoping no coyote will sniff us out

and put an end to this—

                            our insurance, our bright future, our light.



Dana Guthrie Martin’s work has appeared in numerous journals, including Barrow Street, Failbetter, Fence, Knockout Literary Magazine, Pif Magazine, and Vinyl Poetry. Her chapbooks include Tomorrow I Will Love You at the Movies, coauthored with Jay Snodgrass (Hyacinth Girl Press, forthcoming), In the Space Where I Was (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012), Toward What Is Awful (YesYes Books, 2012), and The Spare Room (Blood Pudding Press, 2009). She edits Cascadia Review.



Gail C. DiMaggio


The Whole Story of Your Body


I loved your body first, hard and anyway.

How could I worry over unmet minds and dead endings

when I was falling for those shoulders? The two of us young

on Bank Street, I kept dropping back to savor the breadth of them,


the slope, their tempo against the blurred motion of traffic, and you knew

how I loved your narrow eyes. Their Atlantic color. The way they

licked at me. The snare drum rasp of your voice – a dark timbre

as if I’d laid my palm against the sounding warmth of an old radio. I loved


your knowing hands, fingertips poised on the trombone slide

feeling out the pulse of the jazz. Even when years muted us,

your body would press along my back all night – hungry,

never settling for the middle.  When it ended,


when the beat stopped under my hand, and a tuneless buzz

filled up the metal-grey room, I left it to the unloving tongue

of the fire and took away nothing. Nothing that will touch

the long ache of my body.



Gail C. DiMaggio spent years watching her husband survive and occasionally flourish as a jazz musician.  She has decided it’s time to find out what she has to say for herself.  She writes from a long perspective – but up close – about what it’s like to live an ordinary woman’s life. For that, she has all the credentials she needs.  Her poems have been published recently in such venues as Aries, Cobalt, Fiction Week and Eunoia. The above poems have been simultaneously submitted elsewhere.

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