From Issue 19: St. Dunstan in the West

    Philip St. Clair

    Down Fleet Street, then into a tiny courtyard: above us
    Good Queen Bess
    with orb and scepter hovered ten feet above our heads.
    Then a flash of panic –
    three swollen corpses, their mottled flesh blue-green,
    lurched toward me
    from a niche off the vestry porch, but after a moment
    I saw they were only
    life-sized metal statues, disfigured and corroded by rust:
    King Lud and his sons
    clad in Roman armor, carried here, the guidebook said,
    from the old Lud Gate
    pulled down more than three hundred years ago,

    and I remembered my childhood
    and the …

    From Issue 19: Space Witch, Thief of Dreams

    Reading by Lucas Webley, Poem Written by Thomas L. Winters

     

     

    Thomas L. Winters is currently developing his first collection of poetry, Age of Elephant. He likes to delve into dream clay and unaltered streets, and plans to travel extensively in the near future. Work is appearing recently in SOFT CARTEL, Bywords, and formercactus. He is on Twitter @tomxwinters…

    From Issue 19: Doppelganger

    Michael Zimmerman

     

    He was seeing doubles: two yellowing trees, two empty park benches, two flowerbeds where there should only be one.  Actually, he corrected himself, what he was seeing were echoes, the reverberations of light waves pulsed around his retina, and then mirrored into his brain. He thought that he could really feel each process slowly working its way through his head. 

    He’d definitely smoked too much weed.

    He snuffed the joint, leaving it carelessly in the grass. It wasn’t the only joint discarded in this isolated corner of Riverside Park. Lying on his back, he turned his attention …

    From Issue 19: Rope Swing

    Brian Phillip Whalen

    after Czeslaw Milosz and James Wright

    slow leaf
    on a cold                                       October morning

    baby daughter’s peach-
    sweet hands rake                          the cotton

    weave                                             there will be no other end
    of the world                                   no

    pleasure than
    to waste                                        each miraculous hour

     

    Brian Phillip Whalen’s writing appears in The Southern Review, Spillway, Mid-American Review, North American Review, Cherry Tree, Fiction International, Poets.org, and elsewhere. Brian received his PhD from SUNY Albany and is a lecturer in the English Department. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and daughter and teaches creative writing workshops in regional …

    From Issue 19: The Winter of East 81st Street

    Robin Greene

         Above the grainy black and white Newsweek photo, the caption read “New York’s #1 Pedophile Gets Caught.” And here I was, sitting at a dentist’s office, in Fayetteville, North Carolina, staring at Marty’s face again.      

         Marty—the man who raped me when I was seventeen and who I hadn’t seen since—the man who, almost four decades ago, changed my life. Convicted of recently raping two young women, Marty had confessed, the article reported, to raping hundreds.  

         I put down the magazine, glanced around the large, almost empty waiting room—a man in a suit flipped through an issue GQ; a …

    From Issue 19: An American Aubade: Blood

    Terry Savoie

     

    Terry Savoie has had more than 370 poems published in periodicals such as Poetry, The American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, America, North American Review and The American Journal of Poetry.  A chapbook selection, Reading Sunday, was recently published by Bright Hill Press.

     

     …

    From Issue 19: The Reaper’s Child

    Paul Sohar

    Late October, leaves turning all around the house. The mangy rhododendron is dark bronze and brittle, but what the hell? Candy wrapper caught in the twigs, but on closer look it’s alive, it’s a flower, yellow going on red, a luxuriant but muted rainbow. Life born out of death, a dead mother giving birth to what must be the reaper’s child.

    The Reaper’s Child, the sketchy poem I present to the workshop that evening elicits skeptical comments, the leader likes to see real life experiences turned into literary masterpieces and not abstract surrealist fantasies. There’s just one person …

    From Issue 19: Dr. Marsh’s Final House Call

    Philip Ivory

    BUZZ. BUZZ.

    Rita shook herself out of a deep sleep, flicked on the light and slid into her bathrobe. The clock said 2:45 a.m. The doorbell at this hour? In three and a half hours, Rita would have to get up, feed and diaper Celeste, pack her up with her formula and toys and get her to daycare at 72nd Street before taking the subway to work. 

    She stumbled along the hallway, rubbing her eyes, trying to be as quiet as possible. If Celeste woke in the middle of the night, she’d cry for an hour before calming …

    From Issue 18: The Blue Minute

    Kirby Wright

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Kirby Wright won the 2018 Las Vegas Screenplay contest and also received first place at the 2018 Script & Storyboard Showcase in Hollywood for his treatment of an animated series.…

    From Issue 18: The Count

    Christine Holmstrom

    My first masturbator was a young inmate—standing at the front of his cell, jeans crumpled around his ankles, boxers sagging below his knees. His hand moved up and down the shaft of his penis. Looking directly at me, he pulled harder, his racing breath audible through the cell bars inches from me. 

    I backed away, unable to speak.

    What was I expecting anyway? The men here were rapists, robbers, and murderers. This was San Quentin, a men’s maximum-security prison, and I was a new female correctional officer—a prison guard—conducting my first institutional count. But here in West Block, …