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"Returning of the Sturgeon" by Ladislav Hanka

Sara Fitzpatrick Comito

The Flea Market Sells Our Sacred Origins from Under Us

How so many antiquities?
How - the dust, so thick,
with what mites and meteors,
a core sample of adorable brevity.

There are bells on the shop door
and it's unpardonable,
the clanging entrance,
the effect on our lungs,
pink darlings, all tender viscera.

The miner sang Clementine
and we don't sing anything
for upsetting the useless teacups
and preposterous liquidation
of human epochs.

Yet we are done in, suffocated
by the rankness of history.
What's the least you will accept?

Sara Fitzpatrick Comito lives in Fort Myers, Florida. She publishes an online journal called Orion headless.

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Joaquin Carvel

Stolen Ambulance

Yeah I guess that it sounds awful
and I know it wasn't fair
to our neighbor, Mrs. Faber
who fell down a couple stairs

but they left the windows open
and the chrome just shone so bright
and they left the motor runnin'
so we tore off through the night

you can blame in on the whiskey
you can blame it on despair
you can blame it on the voices
of the ghosts who died back there

guess that crazy don't seem crazy
when your thinkin' gets so hazy
that you take yourself a chance
inside a stolen ambulance

Yeah the cars were pullin' over
every traffic light was green
as we ripped around the corners
spillin' gauze and Benzedrine

so we left the red lights flashing
and we let those sirens scream
and her mouth was full of sugar
and her eyes were full of cream

didn't think about direction
kept the pedal to the floor
'til we ran it to a sputter
by the county reservoir

guess that hopeless looks like wild
when you're busted and defiled
down where all the mayflies dance
around our stolen ambulance

someone said the destination
ain't important – it's the journey
and I'd say you never done it
'til you tried it on a gurney

yeah we opened up the back doors
and we stared up at the stars
started talkin' like we used to
smoked a couple cheap cigars

and decided that we'd probably
made our very best mistake
laughin' in the mud and moonlight
rolled that rig into the lake

guess you gotta spike the sadness
with a night or two of madnesss
and revive a sick romance
inside a stolen ambulance


Joaquin Carvel lives in Southern California. His work has appeared on bar napkins, the backs of envelopes, and in public bathroom stalls across three counties. He lays one down every Thursday at his blog, Lyrics & Maladies.


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Dane Kuttler


After we realized
we were not, in fact, immortal,
we went to the diner.
It was 3am,
and the cups were
heavy. We told jokes,
and played hangman
on the paper menus,
pulled up extra chairs
and laughed
like we didn't know
we were supposed
to be quiet and small.
It tasted good.
There were extra tater tots.
The cast of the
Rocky Horror Picture Show
showed up to sit on each others' laps
and order milkshakes.
When the couple
with matching canes
and hand-knitted sweaters
arrived, we all shut up,
as if instructed.
Watched them put
Sinatra on the jukebox,
order two cups
of decaf and a side
of post-coital grinning
and we all breathed -
the fishnet boys and
the big boot girls
and we with work in the morning -
we all thought damn, I hope
it turns out like that.

Dane Kuttler is a Seattle poet who used to be a Massachusetts poet, but has always been a Jewish poet, a bit of a cranky poet, and a pretty good cook. Her work is generally influenced by her fellow performance poets, and has been most recently published in Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation (Seal Press 2010) and Learn Then Burn: A Classroom Anthology (Write Bloody Press 2010) More information about Dane and her work can be found at

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Anna Simmons

I want to be the girl from the songs...

        I.        …but I’ll trade for cornbread and cocaine
I am fly-paper: an independent woman,
a codependent piece of honey, attracting trouble and

surrounded by the Temptations, dead and
old and retired and new, all living and in my bedroom,

twenty-two falsetto voices
singing me to sleep and offering me

cornbread and cocaine. Does it freak you out
how I began? Let’s start over, from the refrain.

        II.        …but that was a long time ago
I was raised to spill secrets, the youngest of the family,
trained messenger of exasperated gods,

conditioned to take blame and be shamed,
but they needed me. I was one of

three women, mother and daughters
idolizing one another in imbalanced secrecy:

Mother rock, girls paper-scissors.
Covering, cutting, being crushed.

        III.        …but I want too much
I wish I could identify
trees. Not flowers, but trees.

There’s a poem I love but cannot find
nor remember except for how it made me feel—

Sexy, forbidden, lost in words and crossed eyes
and wanting a glass of lemonade

to go with my cornbread I eat with Otis Williams’s
voice licking my earlobe.

        IV.        …but I’ll settle for fly genocide
I read in bed to stay awake, as if sleep were
bad for me, as if the fly in my room will

dare touch me in my sleep, tickle me with its
several legs and wings. It crawls into

my lamp and I trap it with a book,
which isn’t mine but borrowed,

and the heat from the light bulb leaves
a pucker in the plastic cover and the fly

has disappeared but the buzz has stopped
too. I contemplate sleeping pills and diet

pills and ways to compliment a woman
like the Temptations do, but I don’t

deserve such words except in hallucination,
do I? Do you think I’m beautiful, despite being

a fly-killer? A beauteous fly-killer. Can you
call me that? Can you make it endearing?

Anna Simmons recently graduated from Kalamazoo College with a dual degree in Physics and Theatre Arts. Her poetry has been featured most recently in campus literary magazines, The Caudron and The Passage. Originally from Chicagoland, Anna is currently living in Ann Arbor, where she is working at a small equity theatre as an apprentice.

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Hedy Habra

Adagio for a Forgotten Viola d'Amore

                      ...hyperspace may provide a means
                         to tunnel through space and time...
                                                   Michio Kaku

In the dark corner
                        of an abandoned attic
            I found a Viola d’amore
                        leaning against a rocking chair

                        the only seat that kept my back
            straight when pregnant,
                        mute companion
of long waking hours

 It was a chair I thought I’d use
            now that my back aches with age

             And how important was this rocking chair
                        when we lost it all in Beirut?

                        The chair was in the attic
            I visited in my dream
                        a Viola d’amore leaning over it                     

            its back as straight as the chair’s
a few strings loose

                        And topping its long neck
            a carved cupid’s head
so covered with dust
            you could never have guessed
                        it was blindfolded

Does it really matter that no one ever played in the family?

Only what the carved head
                        overheard whenever pressed
                                    firmly under the chin
                        of the slender girl

                        when she was young and strong
            not yet my Nonna
sliding through corridors    
                        in a wheelchair

 I wonder how she played then
            in the balcony
                        of our house in Heliopolis
or was it Alexandria?

I can see her pull the flat body
            against her chest
                        each unbowed note

                        She had a way of walking
            that caught the eye
until she married
                        at sixteen
            to a jeweler freemason
who knew nothing about music

That’s when she placed her Viola in the attic
            next to my rocking chair 

Hedy Habra received her MFA and a PhD in Spanish Literature from Western Michigan University. Her poetry and fiction in French, Spanish and English appear in many journals including Parting Gifts, California Quarterly, Letras Femeninas, Puerto del Sol, The New York Quarterly, Cider Press Review, Nimrod, Cutthroat & Poet Lore and anthologies such as Inclined to Speak; Come Together: Imagine Peace; Poetic Voices Without Borders Vol 2 & Dinarzad’s Children 2nd ed. Her critical work appears in reviews such as Explicación de Textos Literarios, Hispanófila, Hispanic Review, Alba de América, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, Confluencia, Latin American Literary Review, Chasqui and Inti.

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Raymond Keen

You Can't Explain Goodness

    Los primeros gauchos
    eran criminales
    que se escapaban
    de las ciudades.

    Goodness is
    an outlaw,
    always unfashionable,
    always a miracle.

    evil men
    evil men
    remain organized.

    The Devil says
    there are
    at least two
    of everything.

RAYMOND KEEN has recently completed his first volume of poetry, Down In Heaven, Up In Hell, and is attempting to obtain publication for this volume at the present time. Five of his poems appeared in the July/August 2005 Issue of The American Poetry Review. One of his poems will be published in the 23rd issue of Breadcrumb Scabs, and another poem will be published in the September 2010 issue of Pemmican Press.

Although Raymond has had an interest in poetry for many years, his profession has been psychology: Three years as a Navy Clinical Psychologist with a year in Vietnam (1967-68); the rest as a School Psychologist in the USA and overseas.

Raymond lives with his wife Kemme in Sahuarita, AZ. He has two grown children.

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