ISSUE 15 TABLE OF CONTENTS

Cover Art
Raw, Michie Harris

Antioch Writers’ Workshop Poetry Contest Winners
Best-in-Show What I Forgot to Say, Amy Drees
First Place, Adult Soot, Kerry Trautman
Second Place, Adult Daily, Andrew Ellis
First Place, Youth Sister, Colleen Freeze
Second Place, Youth Artists’ Block, Gemma Miller

Poetry
Foreclosure, Grace Curtis
April Haiku, Rebecca Griswold
Stages of Decomposition, Colleen Freeze
Snowflake, Christy Lynne Trotter
Arizona, Late May, Grace Curtis
David’s Peggotty, Grace Curtis
Coney Island, Kerry Trautman

Nonfiction
Ode to Father’s Day, Christy Lynne Trotter
Streams of Consciousness: Death than “Black Anger,” Patrick J. Derilus
Time for Fireflies, Beeda Speis

Fiction
Principium Tempus, Nathaneal Johnson

Visual Art
Accident, Andrew Ellis
The Current Year Will Bring You Much Happiness, Jennifer McGuire

 

ACCIDENT

Ellis_Andrew_Accident (1)photogram

about the artist
Andrew Ellis is annoying, infuriating, agitating, provoking, engaging, encouraging, and all the things that make a person interesting. His work has appeared in TeenInk, Common Threads, and Ink, Sweat, & Tears (forthcoming). His photography has appeared in Photographer’s Forum. He lives in Ohio, and survives primarily off of Mountain Dew and peanut butter M&Ms.

WHAT I FORGOT TO SAY

What I forgot to say

was that you were right.
The coldest day of the year is not the time
to bring home a puppy, but we did it, again.

Your advice is not so much ignored
as it is remembered inconveniently late in irrevocable situations.
This makes it prophecy of the awkward Cassandra type,
or the kind that you can only read in the bird’s entrails after it stops twitching.

You have been right, all along,

that I dream of being at the end of stacks of laundry or grading or dishes
as if they were dreams of falling from a great height where it is important to wake up
before discovering a blank surface

that there are mornings when I do not recognize the curve of my husband’s back
turned away from me in the sun slicing through the curtain
and days when I forget the color of my own eyes

that the memory of the well-loved dead is a phantom hand, long amputated,
still holding a remembered glass of wine which I absent-mindedly bring to my lips

far too often.

Listen, what I forgot to say—
there is an immature downy woodpecker
in the small woods where the dog and I walk.
I have seen him creeping down the side of the dead tree,
head cocked, listening for life beneath the bark.

Yesterday, we stopped for the booming thwock of bird skull against wood,
she on point, and I scanning for a flash of red against the gray sky, the dark gray trees.
The clamor came from nowhere and everywhere,
but we found the bird hiding in its own echo.

about the author
Amy Drees misses her last real writer’s group that met in Piqua, Ohio, many years ago. She now teaches constantly, and writes infrequently in the colder, flatter north of the state.

SOOT

When the demo crew went to work
on the burnt-out building,
the scent of soot was released
upon Main Street like spores,
reminding drivers-by of
a century of bones between brick walls.

The soot held the sweat of the pawn shop
owner, waking, haunted by
stories in his storefront below.
The fur of twelve cats fed that one last
time by the body of the old lady herself.
The spit of a black couple evicted
for walking too hard on their own floors.
The cigarette smoke, burnt toast
smack grit, Aqua Net,
Pine-Sol, Love’s Baby Soft,
bong smoke, bacon grease.

Trucks smashed and rumbled heaps into
other trucks that rumbled it all away
to where I don’t know, but soot
lingers there awaiting scrubbing
and a second chance at
holding somethings together.

about the author
A lifelong Ohioan, Kerry Trautman is a founder/admin of ToledoPoet.com and The Toledo Poetry Museum page on Facebook. She participates in events such as Artomatic 419, Back To Jack, and The Columbus Arts Festival, and she is a poetry editor for Red Fez. Her work has appeared previously in Mock Turtle Zine, as well as in Midwestern GothicAlimentum, The Coe Review, and several other journals and anthologies. Her chapbook To Have Hoped is available from Finishing Line Press. Her chapbook Artifacts, is forthcoming from NightBallet Press in 2017.

DAILY

Daily, I twist a valve and let my serotonin flow out onto the floor, an emotional biohazard.
Daily, I brush my teeth but refuse to make eye contact with the foaming rictus in the mirror.
Daily, I take an obscenely cold shower and stand in the jets until I feel completely numb.
Daily, I’ll drive into town, my consumer therapy, and buy something outlandish.
Daily, I water the rosemary on my window sill and feel tired.
Every morning, I wake up to a new ceiling.

about the author
Andrew Ellis is annoying, infuriating, agitating, provoking, engaging, encouraging, and all the things that make a person interesting. His work has appeared in TeenInk, Common Threads, and Ink, Sweat, & Tears (forthcoming). His photography has appeared in Photographer’s Forum. He lives in Ohio, and survives primarily off of Mountain Dew and peanut butter M&Ms.

SISTER

Sister, there’s a song in the pipes.
The discordant whistling that sings of aeons forgotten.
Can’t you hear the Breath?

Sister, they’ve always been with us.
The words of those that came before, dead but lingering still.
Can you feel their Presence?

Sister, they’ll never go away.
The ghosts of a past uncertain playing out what was.
Now you can see Them.

The future is unwritten.
We still have the choice.
The choice of the words we’ll leave behind,
The lingering song of the future’s past.

about the author
Colleen Freeze is a junior at Kettering Fairmont High School, and an editor of the school’s literary magazine, Aerie. She has had poems published in that publication two of the last three years, and hopes to do so again in her final year at Fairmont.