Deliriously Curly - Oleh Lysiak
East of Pendleton - Oleh Lysiak
Guilty Pleasures - Jeanpaul Ferro
The Triplets - Jeanpaul Ferro
Tossing the Argument - Joe Castano
Kevin and the Chickadee - Mia Cartmill
Meadow Vista Local - Monday Parker
Neatly brass buttoned
and spit shined,
they stand illuminated
the bare bulbed
front porch light.
Shoulder to shoulder,
in noble contemplation
and with solemn dignity
Now comes the whispered delivery
of their utterance
According to her mother, Pamela Tyree Griffin (Springfield, MA ) has been reading and writing since she was 5 years old, and has been unable to stop. Her works have appeared or will appear in such wonderful publications as: Bewildering Stories, Long Story Short,Doorknobs and Bodypaint, Static Movement, ken*again, and Flashshot. Pamela publishes online The Shine Journal and joyful!. She is honored that she can now include Boston Literary Magazine among her publication credits.
Two ahead of you, the woman
with the DOG AVAILABLE ad says.
Once Coop demolishes an urban koi pond,
eats the koi and shreds some yuppie liberal's good
doggie expectations, the woman calls. Dog's available.
Two hours later an SUV arrives. She cradles
a beribboned Papillion. Coop, wired, leaps
out the back, unsure. I walk him to the pond.
Go on, I tell him. It's OK. Good dog.
Delirious curly golden brown, Coop launches,
paddles clockwise, thrashes, bites water,
barks atavistic Chesapeake,
dives on cattail roots, checks in for pats
before he bolts for further canine hijinks.
In seven years he shivers on the vet's steel table,
prognosis canine lupus. Coop smells like death,
eyes sunk into his skull, tattered, weak, emaciated.
I don't have the heart to see him on a stranger's
stainless slab awaiting intravenous euthanasia.
Our walk to the pond bench is excruciating.
Coop nestles by my side. I stroke him and tell him
he's a good dog, pull the trigger. Coop quivers.
A viscous, thin red line flows into grass.
Remorse tsunamis skin me raw. I dig a grave,
wrap Coop up in his blanket, bury him
close by his pond.
Stanley eats out of a hubcap,
lives out of a backpack. Around
the campfire, leather hat slung back,
between sips of Henry McKenna table whiskey,
he picks tunes of how he feels about you
on a ratty old road guitar. Stanley plants trees
for pennies per, sleeps in the woods, eats venison
and beans when he's flush, road kill when he isn't.
He finds me digging geoducks on Whidbey Island,
pitches a road-ready 60s Rambler itching for a ride
to the Rockies for one last plant. Brakes, lights and
a muffler later Stanley warns me not to take her over 50.
I take over east of Pendelton. The Rambler does a steady 80
all night long. Stanley wakes up in the back seat
south of Salt Lake at the Spanish Fork turnoff.
I hand him the thermos. He sips hot nasty truck stop black,
picks strings and sings "Momma had a chicken,
thought it was a duck, put it on the table
with its legs stickin' up, along come sis with
a spoon and a glass and started shovin' stuffins
up its yes, yes, yes." I sing along through the Wasatch,
past the Henrys toward the Uncompaghres home
on the road easy come, easy go, shrink or grow.
Oleh Lysiak is married to Christina Peterson. They live on the Oregon Coast. Lysiak is working on his fourth book while he restores a 1953 Hudson.
The sun-dust that rises from the table by the window,
sweet redolence of sweat and Paul Sebastian cologne,
dead voices in my ear, true souls of those friends already gone by,
when we once walked together, when walk together now,
your voice still with me, ghosts next to my body at the table,
breath against skin, lips against quivering mouth,
rain pouring out of these Key West skies,
surely enough time to change your mind by tomorrow,
maybe some coffee, some pecan pie, maybe some Key lime
I catch the waitresses' eye—she looks at me like she's already
Now everybody wants to buy me a drink,
make me show them the photo one more time,
they all smile and laugh down at Camille's,
we just thought it was a hell of a big baby,
and then three of them came out,
that delightful look of horror on the doctor's face,
all three babies crying in the delivery room,
like stolen children they blame on gypsies,
my poor wife—three bottles, three changings,
three more reasons to bang her head against the wall,
but how could it be any other way?
wishing for more hours? more money in the bank?
a wishful magnet to pull dreams out of thin air?
I couldn't conceive of having just one with her!
A 4-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Jéanpaul Ferro's work has appeared in Contemporary American Voices, Columbia Review, Connecticut Review, Long Island Quarterly, Portland Monthly, The Providence Journal, Bryant Literary Review, Arts & Understanding Magazine, Barrelhouse Magazine, AIM Magazine, and others. His work has been featured on NPR's This I Believe series, WBAR radio in NYC, and The Plaza's Masterpiece series. His book of short fiction, All the Good Promises, was published by Plowman Press and his book of poetry, Becoming X, is forthcoming from BlazeVOX Press. He is also a 2-time Best of the Net nominee. He currently lives in Providence, Rhode Island. E-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tossing the Argument
My mother stumbles towards the door,
she fumbles with her keys,
fingers numb to sensations,
Yellowtail swilling around her brain.
Our father watches,
he stopped drinking long ago,
when she crashed his 1984 Chevy Flatbed,
the robins egg blue 1978 Mustang,
the blood red Honda Rocket,
which was hers anyway.
Perched up on the stairs,
behind the white wall,
my sister and I,
sit huddled together,
my head in her lap,
her fingers curled in my hair.
Father zips those keys across the yard,
as far away as he possibly can,
as if he's trying to throw the runner out at home.
Joe Castano is a Vermont writer who is finishing up his undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont. In the near future, he plans to continue writing both poetry and non-fiction while attempting to get an MA in English.
Kevin and the Chickadee
For he has forgotten self, forgotten bird ...
Kevin stands perfectly still, arms outstretched,
Palms cupped, holding sunflower seeds.
Late snow falls in big wet flakes on his hat
Swirling around, like a shaken snow globe.
He waits for a chickadee to perch on his hand.
Mother said it would happen if he were still enough.
And he is still... and quiet, like no other boy of twelve.
No bird comes but Kevin waits, a statue cast in silence,
Weighted down with heavy boots
And forebodings, in February's deep snow.
A chickadee lights on the heel of his pure right hand
And he's transfixed, like the legendary St. Kevin,
Caught in hand with a nesting bird.
But this bird leaves nothing;
It takes a single seed and flies away.
By now, Kevin has lost himself in the globe of his own silence,
A statue in the falling snow—
Standing perfectly still
Until hell freezes over, or the Fourth of July parade—
Or his mother's voice calls him in from the cold.
Mia Cartmill was born in Boston, MA and lived in Freeport, Maine for twenty five years. Her work has appeared in Eden Water Press, A Gift from Maine, the Aurorean, the Christian Science Monitor, and The Boston Globe. She currently lives and writes in the small southwestern town of Casco, Maine, enjoying her gardens and beautiful fields.
The stumbling sick old dog
Sprawls in the shadow from his own cancerous lumps
Protecting like a pit-bull the tattered headland home
Trees over grown
Limping with their own thickness
Maps of spider webs surround their frames
Broken down cars
Yards and yards of garden hose
A bright orange construction cone
Piles of things
But really it's empty
With filled crossword puzzles & Pictures of Africa
Where you went thirty years ago
But reference as yesterday morning
Like it will be tomorrow
Only we all know you're not going back
To that open safari
That truck ride
Bumpy and dusty to the hole the lions drink from
You will stay caged in your lonesome memory boxes
Condemned to your aging arthritic hands
You're cracking old veined knees
You will walk in circles wearing holes into your patched carpet
Smoking the weed from your wooden pipe
Falling apart with the house
Dying with the dog
Overgrown like the trees that begin
To swallow them all.
Monday Parker was born and raised in Dutch Flat California. She has aspirations of being the San Francisco Poet Laureate. Monday's work can be found at the Writers Cafe and the Writers Haunt. Monday currently works at the school for the blind where she teaches young, visually impaired students to use screen readers with new age technology such as MySpace, YouTube and Cell Phone Texting. Monday would love nothing better than to be surrounded by the works of her favorite poets including Jim Morrison, Sharon Olds, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe.