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Summer 2013: Poetry

The Hand-Off

The speedometer trembles at one-twenty
but the Cadillac runs smooth, silent
as my father steers left-handed,
his right arm draped
over the top of the front seat.

I want to touch that blond-furred arm,
hold his fingers in my hand’s hollow.

My mother leans to the right,
stares out the front window at the black asphalt
unwinding into the desert’s lusterless gold.
She doesn’t look at him or at me
or at the fifth of whiskey
amber-stilled next to her left foot.

Out the window to the left
a mountain presses purple up up
until lead clouds block the ascension
and through that metallic gray
God shoots silver shafts just for me.

Give me the bottle, Edith,
he says to my mother.
I see the dip of her left shoulder,
hear the slap of the bottle against his hand.

Her gaze never leaves the ochre-scrubbed sand.

He tilts the Jim Beam –
the scorched yellow liquid flows into his mouth.
I hear him gulp and swallow,
I see his fingers tender-curled around the bottle’s neck.
In the mirror his crow’s feet gentle and his dishwater eyes
flash a moment’s burnished blue –
not for my mother not for me not for himself
not for the saffron sand or the purple mountain
but for the brown-gold whiskey.

Out the window –
still purple, the mountain –
and the white-gold slashing the stubborn gray,
not god-painted or angel-mounted –
a trick of the atmosphere,
a sleight of hand.

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Rich, strong, poignant, humorous and inspiring. We’ve caught twenty never-before-published poems by sixteen unique voices.


Seven talented women search for themselves in their bodies, their family, themselves.


Established dynamos and aspiring voices add colorful visions to our third issue.

Young Voices

Language leaps off the page in the poetry and prose of five young authors who delight in sensory detail.


Meet the authors and artists who make this Summer 2013 edition a rich, varied and engaging experience.

Table of Contents Button


        Abandoned Church by Tanya Jarvik

        Commencement by Kelly Running

        Depoe Bay by Wendy Thompson

        Directive by Cristina White

        Hawk Moth by Wendy Thompson

        How to Recycle Love Letters by Jennifer Dorner

        I Swapped a '74 Mustang for This by Jennifer Fulford

        Polaroid of My Mother by Cindy Stewart-Rinier

        Lover, Molester, and Maidens (Haibun) by Margaret Chula

        Savory by Pat Phillips West

        Seascape by Marjorie Power

        Suspended by Grace Kuhns

        The Hand-Off by Pattie Palmer-Baker

        The Ride by Linda Ferguson

        The Ticking Shirt by Tricia Knoll

        Three Facts about Sperm by Ursula Whitcher

        Three True Stories by Penelope Scambly Schott

        Today at the Library by Pat Phillips West

        Trapped Birds by Grace Kuhns

        You, who will be alive and reading after I'm gone by Penelope Scambly Schott


        After the World Ends by Kait Heacock

        Something Permanent by Ashley-Renée Cribbins

        Your Hand at Your Throat by Karen Guth

        Black Sharpie by Anne Gudger

        Diagnosis by Helen Sinoradzki

        For He's a Jolly Good Fellow by Laura Stanfill

        Breathing Underwater by Valerie Wagner


        Unity by Anne John

        Rearguard by Anne John

        Speculation by Anne John

        Wire by Jocelyn White

        Taitian Trio by Nani Chesire

        Catch Your Breath by Nani Chesire


        We Will Read to You by Rebecca Cleveland-Stout

        Strawberry Party by Natalie Lerner

        A Young Night by Clara Beaumont

        Beach Wanderer by Isabella Waldron

        Light and Dark by Colette Au