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Winter 2015: Poetry


The mash-o-matic
flattens one breast at a time
into a plain of veins, ducts and fatty tissue,
as wild as any grasses, the diversity of cells,
any one of which could falter by some onslaught
of hormone or car exhaust strafing, or
stress, which is a vast country of assassins and
strife, the cells lowering down their robber masks,
to rob this chunk of flesh blind.

When will they invent a kinder machine?

Pinching, pulling, plopped on the tray, 
the tech cinches the breast down tight
then one final turn and tug
as if the breast could ever escape or shift
to its own best view – full on nipple beaming.
Why not a cup to lean into
tender squeezing,
like a lover, the right amount of pressure
for the breast to offer itself up,
not flayed, not road kill steamrolled,
but in its hilled dimensional glory
a panoramic, 3D exploration.

Then I wait, without breathing, 
while the button is pressed.
Years this process repeats,
these pinpointing rays of radiation
to ferret out whether the lineage of my mother's
genes are unfolding in a similar way:
cancerous, murderous.
The hesitation before the machine releases
each breast to resume the shape they have known
not as something to be smashed like clay
between two plates of chilled plastic, 
but stately, if not a bit sliding-down-hillside,
certainly in need of a admiring touch.

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Through the magic of language, 20 poets challenge us to write and live bravely.


Five risk-taking voices burn with the fire of transformation.


Four artists share their diverse sensibilities as confident mark-makers.

Young Voices

With clear eyes and articulate voices, five young women confront terrifying aspects of human experience.


Meet the authors and artists – from first-timers to well-established – who grace our sixth issue with their voices and visions.

Table of Contents Button


        A Great Wild Goodness
 by Annie Lighthart

        Going South by Christine Gray

        a welcome week by Hannah Sams

        Ophelia, at Fifty, in a Blue Blow-up Canoe by Deborah Dombrowski

        A Passing Music by Barbara LaMorticella

        Girl Fishing with Grandpa by Helen Kerner

        Perimeter by Amy Schutzer

        Two Poets in the Weight Room by Tricia Knoll

        Skeletons by Christa Kaainoa

        A Poem for Dany by Suzy Harris

        Lineage by Amy Schutzer

        The Bucket by M.K. Moen

        Bernier River by Christine Dupres

        Silence by Margie Lee

        Advice by Donna Prinzmetal

        Sometimes at Night by Jennifer Pratt-Walter

        Fissure by Elizabeth Moscoso

        Whale by Cathy Cain

        In the Modern World by Annie Lightheart

        Love poem to an acquaintance by Allegra Heidelinde

        Dialogue between Magician and Tattooist by Christine Gray

        Under the sign of the water bearer by Jennifer Kemnitz

        city spacious heart by Pearl Waldorf


        Bless Our Great Nation, Zambia! Zambia! by Gypsy Martin

        Liminal by Stephanie Golisch

        The Tomorrow Fire by Kelly Coughlin

        Ablaze by Heather Durham

        Left As It Was, It Would Come Apart by Jackie Shannon-Hollis


        Sibling 1 by Michelle Latham

        Sibling 2 by Michelle Latham

        Sibling 3 by Michelle Latham

        Totem by Kelly Neidig

        Stratum by Kelly Neidig

        Swift by Kelly Neidig

        Breaking Free by Erin Leichty

        Capture Threads by Erin Leichty

        Hardware by Erin Leichty


        Visions on the Playground by Meghana Mysore

        Chasing Thunder by Berkeley Franklin

        Elegy for Christy by Lily Boyd

        Social Media by Maya Coseo

        A Hundred Acre Wood by Audra McNamee