Friday, June 4, 2010

Two poems from Teresa Chuc Dowell

The following poems are from Teresa Chuc Dowell's new chapbook, Cartography of Family.

Moon Festival

In the middle of the moon cakes are egg yolks
around a red bean paste where centuries ago notes were hidden
by the Chinese to pass along rebellion war plans
to overthrow the Mongols. My parents buy these cakes for us to
eat every year – it is a tradition.

Genghis Khan and his descendants ruled the vast lands of China.
The Mongolians did not eat moon cakes.
I taste the night sky under which the rebels gathered.
How they organized in the dark and the salted moon crumbles on my tongue.
For now, I will be a quiet, obedient Chinese-American daughter
with my head down when spoken to, but I silently plan my own rebellions.

Not Worth a Bullet

A bullet is made of
copper or lead.
Gunpowder is
poured into the case.
The firing pin hits the
primer at the back of
the bullet which starts
the explosion. Altogether,
the bullet and the case are
typically about 2 inches in length
and weigh a few ounces.

My father said that
the Vietcongs
told him and the other
prisoners while in
“re-education” camp
that they were not worth a bullet.
They would work for the Vietcongs
and then die.

A bamboo tree is smooth, long
with roots that hold the earth
with the strong grip of green
knuckles and fingers.
They are used to build houses,
fences, etc.
A bamboo tree can weigh 60 pounds
or more and be 20 feet tall.

The prisoners were forced to
walk barefoot up the mountains
and carry bamboo back to the camp.

Due to the weight of the bamboo,
they were only able to carry one
at a time.

Teresa Chuc Dowell immigrated to the U.S. under political asylum with her mother and brother shortly after the Vietnam War. She teaches English literature and writing at a public high school in Los Angeles. Her poetry appear in journals such as the
National Poetry Review, Verse Daily, and miller’s pond (online), and her creative nonfiction appear in journals such as Memoir Journal, Sugar Mule, and Mosaic. Teresa earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and is currently a candidate for an MFA in Creative Writing (poetry) at Goddard College in Vermont.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Four poems from Donal Mahoney

Summer Eve

Her lips?
As I recall,
even when she talked
her lips were slung
in a sundown surl
and there was liquor,
always liquor,
just a jigger,
in her walk.

Leprechaun’s Creed

The thing of it is,
says Johnny O,
none of us knows

whether he is
while others announce
after looking around

they beg to differ.
The thing of it is,
says Johnny O,

some would say
he’s here, he’s there,
he’s everywhere

while others would say
after looking around
no one can see him

anywhere--so how
can he be everywhere?
The thing of it is,

says Johnny O,
he’s right over where?
Let’s look around.

Shy Girl

Light ambrosia of the sun
is over all of her.
She is shy

the way the flicker
pink of rabbit eye
is shy. Within the

almond hair, cliffs
of cheek round in, where
unifies her chin.

There, two birds meet
before they carry out her smile.


From shimmering oil
of ebony still

will come flailing of limbs
will come hacking

quick slashing
of hands now untied

tattooing no pattern
not even a maze

depriving gray walls
of their stone

will come spittle
wild churning rivers

agush from slack jaws
of blanching gray hounds

till one day at dawn
will come quiet

Donal Mahoney, a native of Chicago, lives in St. Louis, Missouri. He has worked as an editor for The Chicago Sun-Times, Loyola University Press and Washington University in St. Louis. He has had poems published in or accepted by The Wisconsin Review, The Kansas Quarterly, The South Carolina Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, The Lesser Flamingo (France), Public Republic (Bulgaria), Revival (Ireland), The Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), Opium 2.0, Rusty Truck, Pirene's Fountain (Australia) and other publications.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Timon Cat: A Friend's Decline

By KJ Hannah Greenberg

Timon was born in the fall of 1981, in Iowa City , Iowa . His initial human caregiver was a student in my officemate Jerry's class. I had been urging that officemate, a young fellow who had helped me secure a space in his rooming house, to adopt a pet. I believed a pet could help Jerry be less introspective. Timon, I believed, would socialize Jerry.

I adored Timon. Often, I would knock on Jerry's door to invite Timon to my room for a visit. In addition, I readily volunteered to watch Timon whenever Jerry went out of town.

While I was becoming enamored of that feline, Jerry, too, was experiencing love. Not only had he begun to engage other folk in conversation, but he also acquired a girlfriend. Ironically, his newfound darling despised the very kitten that had helped Jerry become available to her.

Jerry made plans to move out of the rooming house and into his gal’s apartment. I made plans to adopt Timon.

While I prepared papers for my Master's tutorials or assessed my students' work, Timon grew. Having never owned a cat, I raised Timon as I had raised puppies. Consequently, Timon greeted me at my door when I returned from classes. He slept with me, shared my food, and enjoyed the company of my housemates.

The following year, when I married my husband, an East Coast fellow I had left behind to pursue my education, Timon and I moved east. Interestingly, although my mate had grown up with cats and knew how to coexist with them, Timon continued to select only my lap for comfort. Accordingly, we adopted a second cat, Cleo; it was important to have marital harmony.

Timon and Cleo seemed to like each other. They groomed each other, slept as a single ball of fur, and otherwise practiced mutual destruction of our small plants and delicate objects. Yet, Timon continued to sleep only on my pillow.

Meanwhile, we erred. In our misguided attempt to successfully integrate Cleo into our family, my husband and I admonished Timon for not sharing food or other important elements of his territory. Later, we’d repeat that same mistake when introducing CDR into our small, domestic pride.

CDR, too, was a potpourri cat and, like Cleo, incommoded Timon. Beyond annoying our original familiar by constantly trying to snuggle with him or to otherwise bond with Timon, CDR was an intruder.

In the interim, I wrote my dissertation. Timon’s neurosis emerged.

His first abnormal behaviors were his seeking out my husband and his spurning me. When those actions failed to capture my attention, he took to overgrooming. Several vets later, we concluded that our “first born” had no physiological ailment, but rather was despairing of receiving enough of my time and energy.

The overgrooming was a destructive, but self-comforting action. Timon would lick a spot on his body, usually one of his inner thighs, until that spot was denuded of fur.

We tried to deter our cat’s self-destruction by applying ointments to his legs, but our cat gave little regard to those potions’ supposedly bitter taste. What’s more, though I meant to give him more time, I failed since I was juggling a full-time job, a dissertation deadline and personal issues.

Despite Timon's reflected dissatisfaction, he remained a fiery Tom. Once, when my sister mistakenly let our indoor cat out, he treed four of our neighbors’ fully clawed felines. Thereafter, he attacked another neighbor's collie.

When, at last, I completed my degree, I accepted my first "important" position. Sadly, Timon continued to groom and Cleo began her own deviant behavior; she began to pee on select spots in our livingroom. Likely, the cats sensed my work-related tension; by year’s end, I resigned from my job because of sexual harassment. The subsequent litigation and mediation sapped my energy and further pulled me from our cats.

Eventually, the legal battles ended. I found a new job, enjoyed the publication of an academic book and received a significant academic award. My husband, our cats, and I relocated. In our new town, we continued to seek help for Timon and Cleo's behaviors.

One vet's suggestion to dose our furry children with semi-lethal chemicals sent us in a new direction. We hired a holistic animal doctor. Timon (and Cleo’s) behaviors did not improve, but they ceased to worsen.

A short span later, we purchased our first townhouse. Each of our cats selected a site within our home that suited him or her. We had long since stopped trying to making our pets abide by human or by canine rules for interaction.

Thus, we were amazed when the three cats seemed to peacefully share the sunlit portion of the carpet on the diningroom floor. As the amount of time during which my husband and I ran no interference grew, Timon even began to tolerate CDR's unflagging affections. Two years later, though another interloper arrived.

All three of our cats watched our oldest child’s homebirth. Timon and Cleo snuggled with me when I used the "nursing chair" with Cleo usually purring loudly. The cats maintained their destructive ways, but did not increase them.

When our second child was born, the dynamics again shifted. Whereas Cleo still purred and snuggled while I nursed and CDR continued to try to nap with the baby, Timon had become dispassionate.

At about that time, our oldest offspring became sufficiently developed in cognitions and motor skills to learn how to gently pet the cats. First Timon, then Cleo, began to snuggle with her. Soon, Timon was found on her bed as often as on mine.

When our second child also became a toddler, he, too, learned how to gently touch the cats. Timon sometimes tolerated our son’s ministrations.

By the time that our third child arrived, Timon was increasingly keeping to himself. Moreso, during that span, whenever I was stressed by personal or by professional issues, Timon became "bouncy" as well as overgroomed.

I took meditation classes to help me regain my center and to aid my unhappy cat, but little else seemed to enhance his serenity. It was as though his feeling of safety had completely vanished. Timon lost much of his body weight.

Perhaps age was a contributing factor to his decline. Perhaps he was shrinking because of his prolonged, over almost a decade, experience of vomiting up the hair he ingested while grooming. Perhaps he faded away from grief.

We gave him enzymes to help him digest his food. We gave him purposeful attention. Time passed. Another child joined our family.

Timon seemed temporarily interested in our last baby. He even: experienced intermittent perky periods, tried snuggling with my husband, and began to chase imaginary critters. During his final weeks, he even took a passing interest in a piece of string. At seventeen human years of life, however, he died a sad cat.

KJ Hannah Greenberg and her hibernaculum of imaginary hedgehogs fly the galaxy in search of gelatinous monsters and assistant bank managers. Although Hannah had worked as a rhetoric professor, she gave up all manners of academic hoopla to raise children. Evidence of that endeavor can be found in Oblivious to the Obvious: Wishfully Mindful Parenting (French Creek Press, Spring 2010).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Robbing Banks Isn't Big or Clever

Robbing Banks Isn't Big or Clever

(spoiler alert if you're never done it)

By David Whitehouse

Holiday time and I'm watching movies. My girlfriend is here, cooking up some pasta in my open-plan kitchen. She's pretty normal looking. She's not good looking or ugly. You wouldn't notice her on the street. She works at a zoo, giving children guided tours. She gives them talks about seals. The kids stroke guinea pigs with her.

She holds the guinea pigs on her long pleated skirt. Between her breasts there is a snake tattoo.

In her purse she carries a pair of pink fluffy plastic handcuffs, ready to put on anywhere at a moment's notice.

It's Dog Day Afternoon. Al Pacino has just watched himself in The Godfather and now he is robbing a bank. The robbers have no masks or anything. One guy chickens out at the start so the gang is down to two. The bank has hardly any cash and the two hang around fielding personal phone calls to the staff when they should have been getting away. Soon the place is surrounded by cops.

Al, it would appear, is the only winner here.

The guy, the real one who did the, later wrote from prison that the film was a piece of crap. The FBI didn't need to kill his accomplice at the end, like the film made out, he wrote. But of course he loved Al Pacino. I can see his point. Al standing there outside the bank entrance, white flag in hand, with a pretty tidy female bank clerk. There's a massive armed police presence and a huge crowd. The accomplice has the rest of the hostages at gunpoint inside. Al boots the glass door and tells the cops to get back and put their fucking guns down. Attica! Attica! Bring on the prison riots. The crowd goes wild. The blonde bank clerk, tinged with sweat, refuses to go with the police and follows him back inside.

Yeah, you need to be a bit of a showman to pull that off.

-The real robber said this film is a piece of crap, I tell my girlfriend. They didn't really need to kill the accomplice at the end. They had him restrained already. But he loved Al Pacino. The trouble is, robbing banks is 95% perspiration and 5% inspiration. Like anything. Like writing, y'know. Planning, execution, hard work. Gotta have all the ideas yourself, like he said, gotta do everything to keep it moving along. Just like Bukowski. Don't try being a genius if you aren't one. This guy tried to do it on inspiration alone. But you can't just watch The Godfather and wander in there. Doesn't work like that. Doesn't work unless you're a total genius.

-If you're going to be an accomplice, you have to choose your friends very carefully, she said. Can you get me a strainer for the pasta please?

-I mean, no masks? C'mon. How were they ever going to spend the dough with no masks?

I can see the attraction with Bukowski. Unfettered male freedom. A life of debauchery, playing with words just something to do until drinking and the horse races start. It's a hobby, 95% perspiration and 5% inspiration. That kind of hobby. Tricky if you have to go to work already. The same as robbing banks, I guess. Which is also more fun as a hobby. Doing over a bank can hardly be counted as a serious activity. The act is essentially petty: what you want is a quick heist and a long boozy lunch. The guy might have got away with it if he'd played it cool. It would have held drinking time back until early afternoon, at least. But he started to take it too serious, that's the problem. Demanding planes, choppers, this and that.

A letter to the bank manager would have had a better chance. If you told him the zoo needed the dough, to extend the seal aquarium for instance, they might go for it. They'd just write it off if you couldn't pay it back.

A couple of weeks later and you just phone up and ask them for more money.

I pour myself some wine. I ask if she wants some. She says no.

-A stroke of genius could have got him through, though, I tell her. When he was chucking the money around and everyone was scrambling to get it, he should have run into the crowd. He could have got away. He was just a 95% genius. Didn't quite have 100% star quality. That's why Al Pacino had to take over.

Stop trying to act like you're something, the bank manager told Al. Stop showing off and just leave me alone.

-In Asia in the second world war, I tell her, the Japs had to shoot all the animals in the zoos. Korea, Burma, places like that. They knew that no-one could stay there to guard the zoos once they retreated. So they gunned down the big game down so that it wouldn't escape onto the streets. Just like that stupid accomplice in the film.

-Pass the parmesan?

I walk up behind her as she stands at the sink and put my hands on her hips.

-I want to see the look on the lama's face, I said.

-I'll never put the cuffs on in the zoo, she said.

-We could wear masks.

-Stop asking me that.

I get some more wine.

-Typos are worse than fascism, I tell her. You know who said that?

-Why not just do it, she said, if you want to lead the same sort of life as Bukowski. There's nothing to stop you. No-one's relying on you, certainly not me. Chase girls and puke up the side of trees at 9 in the morning if you wish. Stop tucking yourself in to bed with your Bukowski book and your mulled
wine and just do it yourself. If you think it's so very nice to live like that.

-Do you realise that the surrender of comfort required to write a sentence is enormous?

The big bountiful plates of pasta are now visible.

-Another thing, she said. Even if Al Pacino had got away his friend would still have been shot. Are you going to lay the table or what?


David Whitehouse, who is British, works as a journalist in Paris, where he has lived for 14 years. Previously he lived in Japan. He's married with three children and edits the The Lesser Flamingo ezine, which accepts poetry, flash fiction and short stories.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


By Sarah Ahmad

Confined to a fragile war
Targets hanging by the deprived
Deceitful hope of the prime youth

Presence explodes
in the face of easy questions

Exploitation a lost prey for the weak
Conscious methods cornered and disguised

Hunger for apathy sustains the deprived.

Sarah Ahmad, 22 years old, was born in India and lives in Pakistan. She considers herself a struggling poet and artist as in her world where life is so fragile, not knowing if you will return alive every time you step out of the house, getting someone to acknowledge your art is a real struggle. Her work has appeared in various e-zines and magazines and that gives her a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Her chapbooks are Unfulfilled Doubts (2010) from Artistically Declined Press and Chaotic Disillusion (2010) from Calliope Nerve Media.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Among the Common

By Pamela R. Cone

When you hear warning signs and still keep walking the results are
equivalent to stumbling into a snow storm. Your only reason is what you
have been searching for has suddenly appeared on the other side of the
hill. These sightings are rare. You have come to realize you weren't meant
to walk among the common. You don’t exactly blend in no matter the
intellectual composition of the crowd. Your last attempt was an affair held
in some place you wouldn't normally frequent. You introduced yourself but
your name didn't sound familiar in their pitches. And their tongues seemed
to cling to the roof of their mouths like that of liars. This is why you
are searching for this aberration reported by those consecrated to the
same. Your allegiance to one another is tighter than the secret hand shakes
other members of various clubs salute one another with. Armed with a flash
light, you hope you won't return still common.


We all are but men. The wicked man preys on the common. The ignorant man
who stands head bowed holding his hat in shame. The shame of being hungry
and powerless. His faith in a creator to lift up his formation. The father
to even the bastard. To him, his soul sits high, his words silver flowing
from his tongue. But the vile man's lips are his own. He refuses to exalt
another. He stands high at every corner. With bloody hands he professes
himself. He too is but a man.


The street was crowded with people headed all in the same direction. Moving
as if an alarm had sounded warning them of the end of time. They marched
like slow stepping soldiers headed for certain death with their eyes
looking straight ahead. No one was directing them; but they all were
responding to the same voice shouting orders over the intercom in their
mind. In the background haunting music played providing them their rhythm.
Their destination seemed un-mark able and their passage incessant.


Riding on the street car, the passing streets are untitled. They're
intertwined like a spool of yarn finally unraveling at the intersection of
town where the homeless woman searches for her lost life buried in her
rubble. Her face is exposed. But her identity is found on the stamped
passport she keeps strapped to her waist telling of places she once roamed.
The sidewalk will roll up at dusk--both tired of the feet that has tread on
them all day. Their assigned position in life, it seems, is to scurry for
the crumbs that fall from the table, to answer when called, to not curse
when their mouths taste of bile.

Pamela R. Cone is an interior designer and writer residing in Dayton, Ohio.  She has been published in The Clarion Review and on her blog, Sometimes I Talk to Myself.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


By KJ Hannah Greenberg

At one point in my life, my husband and I purchased a home in a fairly upscale neighborhood. Although ours was the small cottage among towering McMansions, our domicile was our heaven, sanctuary, and laboratory. Our youngest child was born there. Our interest in sacred matters was nurtured there. My rebirth as a writer began there.

That revival came about through a process of weeding. Somewhere, amidst our intentional gardens and our wild flora, I found a piece of me that I had previously and wrongly believed ought to be discarded as no longer serviceable. When we moved from apartment to condo, when we transported from rental to sublet, when we had no backyard, I had focused my energies on greenhouse beauties, both real and figurative.

In other words, rather than allow myself to become vulnerable to the enchantments of motherhood, e.g. to the chromatic nuance found in moon flowers and in other funnel-shaped blossoms, I directed myself toward things academic. That is, I allowed myself passion for only those blooms which are easily identifiable in catalogs. I cared nothing for dandelion or for chickweed, or for any other potentially healing agent. Artifice sufficed until goopy faces and filled diapers returned me to sensibilities.

Whereas it’s difficult to pursue footnotes with a toddler howling in the background or with a nursling plucking at your blouse, it’s not impossible to double dig a row of eupatorium or to sow seeds for a crop of hormone-friendly wild carrot while the kids fling mud. When I could no longer concentrate on the third level of linguistic abstraction, literally, on “the gist,” of a passage about deconstructed prose, I was still able to discern between chokeweed and horseradish. During that period, in preparing lecture notes, I frequently confused ancient criteria for determining truth with contemporary skepticism, but had little trouble teaching my preschoolers to nibble daintily on the petals of lemon sorrel or to suck the sweetness from honeysuckle.

I am forever appreciative that my family had the opportunity to own enough land (albeit far short of even an acre) to watch groundhogs borrow after eating our plantain, to observe local deer tasting our wintergreen, and to spy on tiny spiders that made their way across the arches of our Dutchman’s pipe. Together, my loved ones and I learned a lot by listening to the warbling emanating from within our junipers and the chirping echoing out from beneath our spreading wild grapes.

Remarkably, such moments occurred many years ago. My babies are teens now and getting older. My family’s home is no longer in a hardiness zone with regular cycles of heat and of cold, but in an area classified as a desert. Today, I am not mystified by milkweed or bewildered by lavender. I know thyme to be a powerful friend against respiratory infections and I recognize aloe as an ally for skin ailments. I applaud the march of tiny hedgehog feet across grand stretches of asphalt and smile as lizards scamper on my sun-soaked merpesset.

I still encourage my children, though, to celebrate life’s diverse goodness. Yet, during this chapter, it is my teens who overtake me when identifying roadside artemisia or distinguishing a parking lot full of prickly poppy. My not-so-little ones see as commonplace a bud’s ability to restore and to teach and they take for granted that their mother dances not only with research on semantic veracities, but also that she documents her life’s answers in essay and in verse.

As for me, bereft of those times of sticky fingers, while gladly rid of that span marked by performance-based outcomes, I watch the hummingbirds, bright in their iridescent dress, drink from the geraniums sprouting in my office window. Beneath those fliers’ busy wings, I track submissions to trade publishers, to staid literary magazines, and to women’s journals. As I move words around on my electronic pages, I remain thankful that some time ago I learned to value those seemingly undesirable elements that were growing around me. Specifically, I remain grateful that someone taught me the worth of “weeds.”

KJ Hannah Greenberg and her hibernaculum of imaginary hedgehogs fly the galaxy in search of gelatinous monsters and assistant bank managers. Although Hannah had worked as a rhetoric professor, she gave up all manners of academic hoopla to raise children. Evidence of that endeavor can be found in Oblivious to the Obvious: Wishfully Mindful Parenting (French Creek Press, Spring 2010).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two poems from Charles Freeland

Editor's Note: The following poems are excerpted from Charles Freeland's chapbook, Eulalie & Squid, forthcoming from Chippens in June.

Detached from the Aggregate

The silver seems to have been handed out by those who think Squid too reclusive. A man who doesn’t understand his obligations to the park system. And the volunteers who patrol its borders. They have been reduced by quarantine and apathy. Turned into specters by the things they’ve seen. Tumblers lying about, cracked and empty. Leaves stamped with the spindly trails of mold growth. Or other otherworldly materials. Pretending to belong to this one. Squid has a lesson at twelve and another in the morning. But suspects he has already covered those chapters and will just be wasting his time. Besides, Eulalie won’t give him credit for being somewhere crucial. For creating a part of his life that doesn’t resemble all the others. She thinks him shackled to the wasp’s nest. Straining away at the scent of alder. But that doesn’t mean she’ll just wave her hand and dismiss the project. He knows through hard experience she will take copious notes. And try to make him believe something he doesn’t actually believe. Eulalie is tricky that way. She is constantly turning over on the floor. Peering up at him as if she has just come to the most sinister realization. And she is waiting for the right moment to inform him of it. To pronounce it in short, clipped syllables.
          I think Squid probably should have bought Eulalie the fish tank. He should have pushed it into the corner with a dolly. Rather than just expecting the winds to take care of things. They are almost always arriving just a minute too late. Disturbing sheets of paper. Carrying with them the sound of people trying to do the right thing. It is a sound that tends to be mistaken by the uninitiated for that of someone drowning. So far off shore there is little help, I suppose, available. Though not so far as to fail to register altogether.

As the Total of the One is to the Total of the Other

Someone’s going the wrong way. It’s inevitable. The sooner we accept that the bargain is not really a bargain at all, but a decoy, the sooner we can get back to the tales that nearly always begin in Bulgaria. We can grab up whatever celery is on the plate along the way. Just as if we won’t know what the climax sounds like without such assistance. Without the ladders threatening to fall over at the slightest provocation. Eulalie throws innuendo over her shoulder like salt. And the fact that Squid does not lunge ought to buy him some respect among those who knew him when he was a boy. Who thought he would never find himself in this situation. The sedan stuffed to the roof with steam trunks and cans of albacore tuna. The radio tuned to whatever doesn’t have any tympanis in it. This should tell us all we need to know. And if it doesn’t, if we are still searching beneath the mattress deep into the following morning, that doesn’t mean we are disabled in some crucial way. It just means we will not be given a place on the life raft, should matters come to that. Should the oceans start spilling over the sides of their containers. And running through the streets like domestic animals loose from their trailers. She finds his silence suspicious. The kind of thing that one wraps the body up in just when the body has become most vulnerable. When it is most likely to succumb to scrutiny. The heat of the Idaho sun. And if she is going to position herself correctly, she knows she must first determine where Squid will be at any given moment. Next to the rollaway bed. On top of the statue of himself that was erected secretly, in the middle of the night, downtown. And when the reporters came to ask him about it, to all but accuse him of arranging the project himself, he scoffed in a voice that left little doubt of his guilt. But no one could put a finger on exactly why. Sure, there was the timbre of it. Weak and watery. The sort of thing one expects to hear from the tailpipe of a Buick. Or the mechanism of the pen when you are just about to sign your name. But you hesitate for a moment because you’re not quite clear which line is the correct line. And which is liable to get you sent to the cabin in the piney woods. From which, it is rumored, no one ever comes back again. Where they ply you with soda crackers and fragments from the illiterate poets of Greece. Until you can no longer remember exactly why you turned your back on the old life. Why you lampooned it so cruelly in the pages of the phonebook.
          But just try figuring it out without the assistance of the woman you love! Try scratching at the bricks on your own. It won’t be but a matter of weeks before you are slinking back, defeated, into the corner of the garage. Hunting up the gas cans for one final inhalation.

Charles Freeland lives in Dayton, Ohio. His books, e-books and chapbooks include Through the Funeral Mountains on a Burro (forthcoming from Otoliths), Grubb (BlazeVOX books), Furiant, Not Polka (Moria), and The Case of the Danish King Halfdene (Mudlark). His website is The Fossil Record and his blog is Spring Cleaning in the Labyrinth of the Continuum.