Boy… by Duane Kirby Jensen



It stop me in my tracks.

The inflection carried the thrust of a knife blade

“What-cha doing here.

You belong back on the interstate.”

Two figures moved around the shell
of a 70’s muscle car – country music
crackling over their transistor radio.
My eyes sunk into that darkened garage
full of grease and gasoline smells.
I watched as one slow-walked his way

towards a rifle relaxing on a workbench.

“I’m looking for a diner.”
      Thinking inwardly –
      it was a good thing I was white,
      or things might get dicey.
I pull a ten from my shirt pocket

as if green would legitimize my presence.

“We don’t serve your kind – you best move-on”

Each word delivered with the effect

of a chambered bullet.

“Can I at least get a cold soda from your machine.”

“Make it quick.”

Each word pronounced like a fist to the mouth –

A kick in the gut – a death-sentence.

I took a long-cold-swallow – eyeing
the empty Montana street.
Strip away the telephone and electric lines,
the semi-modern cars – add a few horses
and hitching-rails and I ‘d be back in 1865.
I was in a place where nothing changed.
They liked their life uncomplicated.
I was that walking disease who would sprinkle

wander-lust into the eyes of their women-folk.

‘You done. Now git.”

I tossed my bottle into an old barrel
overflowing with spent bottles – I smiled.
Thanked them for their hospitality.
I walked away – slowly,

secure with the weight of my twin knives.

Inwardly thanking my ancestors
that they had never settled
in a town where dreams are boxed early
and then shelved in a cellar
next to the rhubarb preserves

that no one ever wants to eat.

Duane Kirby Jensen is a painter and a poet. His work published in six chapbooks, and a variety of other publications . Since 1990 he has read and continues to read at numerous venues throughout the northwest.

During the 1990’s he published Everett’s Independent Voice (an arts and entertainment magazine) and The Drifter: A Poetry Journal. He also coordinated the Mill Town Poets open-mic. Since September 2013, he has been the host of Everett Poetry Nite.

He received the 2013 Mayor’s Arts Award for Artistic Excellence & Contribution to Everett’s Cultural Vitality.

Duane also has Two painting and two poems in Randomly Accessed Poetics Issue No. 4, Heart Splatters Into Significance.

Copyright © 2014 by Duane Kirby Jensen



Wamus… by Dan Nielsen



The less love
there is
the more likely
it will be

equally shared.

The meaning
of existence
the existence

of meaning.

Sometimes I like
To save the crusts
from a loaf of bread
and pretend that it’s

a bun.

The longest words
do not necessarily
have the most letters
because some letters

are wider than others.

She asked about my glasses.
I told her I was farsighted.
She asked how far I could see.
I said “At night
I can see stars.”

A Wamus is a belted cardigan work jacket

Copyright © 2014 by Dan Nielsen




Anything About It… by M.A. Schaffner


Anything About It


We are all here together with the cold

waiting for our day of spring then dreading

what summers have become. It’s not the heat

but the morbidity, the knowledge that

the intervention might have come too late.

It’s political, really, this lobby

for gentler seasons and native species.

So far the votes call for lower mileage

and shorter life-lists, for which the app

can only become cheaper by the year.

Ask not what you can do for your planet

but how many years remain in which to play

an ever-quicker killer in that game

where aliens try to claim our precious world.


The struggle continues but no one knows

where or even why. On any given day

the roles of oppressor and oppressed change;

justice switches partners with tradition.

Oh how we mourn the politically correct

taking the side of rabbits against hawks.

Then hawks show their pest control credentials

and courts rule again, and yet again.

Some days you want to live to see the end;

there’s no end until the end of us.

A car pulls into the driveway and parks

where horses once stood on filthy flagstones

breathing untainted air. I could go on,

and will until I can’t, though it still will.

M. A. Schaffner has work recently published or forthcoming in The Hollins Critic, Magma, Tulane Review, Gargoyle, and The Delinquent. Other writings include the poetry collection The Good Opinion of Squirrels, and the novel War Boys. Schaffner spends most days in Arlington, Virginia or the 19th century.

Copyright © 2014 by M.A. Schaffner





Featherman… by Sy Roth



Choices rub up against you that way,
not like purring cats seeking to have their bellies rubbed,
rather like scratchy wool pressing against the skin,
an uncomfortable emery board rubbing it raw.
Like noisome gnats swarming abound the head
they swirl until thoughtlessly whooshed away,
hand flapping carelessly by the face,
when choices are nothing more than other’s ideas

requiring no thought.

Choice beaten out of them, they,
leadened marionettes, toss grenades
that sometimes explode in their hands,
and bayonet other nameless strangers.
Expendable, interchangeable units, they,
toy soldiers, their names

gloriously arrayed on victory plaques.

Feather men elect engagement without murder.
Become white-feather fodder comforting without weapons,
adrift on a mad ocean of carnage.
They simply float unremembered, kept
aloft by playful gods whistling airy carnage tunes,
their bodies bloodied unlike the others.
At heart all feathermen,

but one bears the burden of conscience.

Sy Roth comes riding in and then canters out. He resides in Mount Sinai, far from Moses and the tablets. This has led him to find words for solace. He spends his time writing and playing his guitar. He has published in many online publications. One of his poems, Forsaken Man, was selected for Best of 2012 poems in Storm Cycle. Twice selected Poet of the Month in Poetry Super Highway. He was named Poet of the Month for the month of February in BlogNostics. Included in Poised in Flight anthology. A Murder of Crows named Poem of the Week in Toucan.

Copyright © 2014 by Sy Roth





When It Rains… by Magen MacKay


When It Rains

After months of drought
I emerge


Our bodies quenched,
I salt the earth between us
So nothing grows.
Instead, I gift purple plums
      that ripen and rot
      on shaved necks:
            billboards of shame.
Short showers promise solace, only
the drops, wholly

evaporate on exorcised skin.

Magen MacKay is a writer, actress, and comedian living and working on the east coast of Canada. Her need for attention is insatiable.

Copyright © 2014 by Magen MacKay