April 20th… by Rafael Ayla Paez


April 20th

Because that day she broke a tile
the ray burned the trees
the streets grew silent
and I knew nothing of time
                  of your hands
of the signs
that foretold the decline
                  of your breath.


Rafael Ayala Paez (Zaraza, Guarico, April 24, 1988). Degree in Education, Language Arts mention the Universidad Nacional Experimental Simón Rodríguez (UNESR). Founding member of the Municipal Writers Network of Zaraza. He has published in literary magazines in your country, of South America and Europe.

Copyright © 2014 by Rafael Ayla Paez




Sleeping Rough… by Charles Tarlton


Sleeping Rough


Norma Desmond said it best: “You see, this is my life! It always will be! Nothing else! Just us, the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark!…”

“All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.”


         Marie smiled and scooted down the bench, closer to the camera.
         “I was fifteen,” she said, straight into the lens, “when my stepfather came into my bedroom late at night….”
         “Whoa!” Gary said, and turned off the camera. “I just want to hear about how you started sleeping rough,” he said. “This is a documentary on what it’s like to live out here, on the street.”

         Marie smiled and said how sorry she was, then she adjusted herself on the bench again and prepared for another take.
She was dressed in a long, faded, and flower-patterned beach dress, waist-length fake fur jacket, and sandals with socks. Her hair was half in greasy dreadlocks.
         “Okay,” Gary said. “Let’s try it again.”
         His SONY video camera was so quiet you couldn’t tell when it was “rolling.”


         “The first guy I moved in with,” Marie started up, “was nice to begin with, but he started beating me regularly within a couple of weeks.”
         “No! No!” Gary said, and switched off the camera again. You could only tell when the camera was off because the light on its side clicked off automatically.
         Gary opened his script and read a few paragraphs of his instructions to himself.
         “This is where you’re supposed to tell me about what it’s like ‘sleeping rough,’” she said to Marie. “That’s what we want to know about. Okay?”
         Marie reached for her absolutely sweetest voice. “I am sorry again,” she said. “All the parts of this seem to stick together. I have a hard time separating them.”
         “Okay,” Gary allowed. “Shall we try it again?”
         The light blazed up and the camera was on.
         “I hadn’t been in the women’s center for even two days,” Marie said, as if reading from a prepared text,” when this Mexican pimp had me turning tricks for smokes”
         “Oh, shit, Marie,” Gary yelled and forgot to turn the camera off. “Why can’t you stick to the plan?”
         “My life never had much of a plan,” Marie said into the camera, which was still recording. She seemed to sense that posterity was waiting in the wings.
         “I started out a pretty normal kid,” she said, “but then my mother and father were divorced and my mother married this asshole….”
         “Stop! Stop! Gary screamed and just managed to get the camera turned off after a couple of fumbling efforts.
         “What part of ‘sleeping rough’ don’t you understand?” he demanded.
         “Okay, okay, I get it,” Marie said, and reached over and switched the camera back on by herself.
         “The rock bottom truth this time.”
         Gary smiled and looked into the viewfinder on the camera. “Go,” he said.
         “Well, I had a pretty strong taste for bourbon right from the start,” Marie began, “but I soon graduated to weed and from there it was an easy leap to smack and cocaine.”
         “Fuck it,” Gary said under his breath, and just let the video keep on rolling.
         “I was really a wreck, you know,” Marie was saying into the camera. “and I ended up sleeping outdoors next to a garbage can in an alley, asking myself: ‘What’s next? There’s not much left to lose.”


Charles Tarlton retired from college teaching and turned to poetry and flash fiction. In the last couple of years he published a bunch of poems and flash stories and was nominated for the Pushcart by Muse-Pie Press.

Copyright © 2014 by Charles Tarlton





Is It Ever Spring Anymore? … by Doug Draime



Outside the robins return

Pecking the thawing backyard earth

Like benevolent and silent jack hammers

They are relentless, only pausing cautiously

For sounds of human beings: banging crushing

Yelling spewing the arrogance of

Self consumption into the cool polluted air


Doug Draime lives and writes in Ashland, Oregon. His most recent collection of poetry, “More Than The Alley,” was published by Interior Noise Press. He also has two chapbooks available: “Los Angeles” & “Rock” published by Covert Press. He has one poem in Rapoetics Issue 4, Heart Splatters Into Significance

Copyright © 2014 by Doug Draime



When You’re In Love With Tesla… by Christine Clarke



When you’re in love with Tesla
you’re a trapped particle
coiled around someone’s heart

tuned to their resonant frequency.

When you’re in love with Tesla,
magnets carry more weight.
You stumble into his force field
brown eyes and you are powerless

to resist.

When you’re in love with Tesla,
you’ve been split in half,
and any atoms that still shimmer

belong to him.

When you’re in love with Tesla
AC sounds a lot like save me.


Christine Clarke, Seattle, WA, is originally from Wisconsin, and has lived in the Seattle area for the past 25 years, where she divides her time between poetry and biology. Her poetry has received awards from the Seattle Public Library and Redmond Arts Council, and has appeared most recently in Clover and DMQ Review. She was a biologist for the Center for Wildlife Conservation, where she specialized in the genetics of keystone species of the Cascadia Bioregion. She was also a columnist for the IBA Newsletter, where she explored the complex relationships between humans, wildlife and nature. Christine is interested in poetry as reflection of our place in the world and as a medium for social change.

Copyright © 2014 by Christine Clarke