Jon Cone


The drunk oxidized one murderous forsythia
out back of the dwarf
I heard harmonica from some dang porch swing.

My hand leaked
awkward like
into a transistor radio I’d made
from gunny-sack, mud and ear.

The one-eyed girl who swiveled funny
came my way.
I could feel her crawl down the dirty fleece
my skin was.


for Ben Mirov

Where is the museum of prayer flags?
I have an animal of elegant limb.
Which mountain peak would you recommend
for its transcendent view? I have never seen
a lung fish. Have you?
How many kilometers to the nearest embassy?
My father is an embassy official and I am in desperate need
of a dentist. Please have the valet summon
an herbalist. The abscess progresses.
What sports do you enjoy? My uncle
played cricket swimmingly. Does your mother enjoy
the domestic arts? I originate
from a land that is low and flat. We have livestock
abundant, a number. Your coat is very
handsome and your wife is very delightful.
I have only a limited quantity
in funds. I will be leaving tomorrow
for India. I am politically a neutral.
How many sisters do you have?
Is that woman your sister?
I play traditional songs on my mouth organ.
The lung fish is indeed esteemed.
Sweet tea is rampant. Where can one go?
I will visit the monastery this evening
where the Buddha is much beloved.
I have several prayer flags in my valise.
Would you like two? Three?
The attractive tourists are Danish, though my
remembrances might be confused.
I saw one tourist doing deep-knee bends
beside the stream of restorative properties.
She wore athletic apparel.
I would be honored to view further
any attractive incarnation.
Where can I buy a skillet?
I have worn mine out.
Because I have been praying strenuously since my arrival
by plane my tour
has been thus far pleasant. How many
kilometers to the nearest temple?
It has been two months
since I last performed any ritual utility.
I agree kind sir the dead like to be honored.



I revered the murals in your father’s house
Especially the one called ‘The New Boredom’,
When we left no one came to say goodbye
Because even the neighbors kept track of
How many times we left milk on the porch
To sour. On the road arm in arm in arm,
We crawled humbled by the ways and means
Committee of the heart that let us go where
We amused various red faced babies.
So many raindrops, so few teeth.

Laura LeHew

In a Blizzard

between Basin and Butte
chrysanthemums litter the charred sky
pummel our little red Honda
cranking open the window
to ferret out the drowned road—

I could bring you so much pleasure
if you are ready for extinction

A Word Problem, 3

Karen, a serial monogamist, holds a doctoral degree in ministry. Every 30 days Karen purchases 3 pounds of Peets Gaia Organic Blend® coffee at $13.95/lb. for a cost of $41.85. Minus her Peetniks discount of $4.00. Plus $8.00 shipping which is calculated at time of shipment [Ground - Cont. U.S. (3-8 business days)]. There is no sales tax since Karen lives in Oregon. Weekly she purchases a 32 oz carton of RICE DREAM® Enriched Original Organic rice milk. The perfect non-dairy beverage, enriched with vitamins A, D & B12 with the same amount of calcium as milk. It is low fat and all natural and costs $3.70. She drives 2.55 miles to the grocery store.

The cost of gas is currently $3.23 a gallon. Karen’s 1999 periwinkle blue VW Passat with heated black leather seats gets 21 miles to the gallon in the city. It has 105,000 miles on the odometer. Recently Karen went to the car dealer to have the oil changed, mentioning to the service rep that some lights had just come on. 5 hours later the technician informed her that the ABS system had failed, her coolant bottle was cracked and leaking, the cam adjustor and valve cover gaskets were leaking oil on the exhaust manifold and engine block and the motor mounts were leaking hydraulic dampening fluid. The tech suggested replacement. The power steering fluid was dark and dirty; it needed flushing. Brake fluids were due to be changed, the fuel system needed to be flushed and a fuel filter replaced. AC was not working as the system was reaching “high suck” pressures due to the AC fan having failed. They suggested replacement. Estimated cost of repairs: $3,200. Blue book value of the car, if it were in moderate shape: $3,208. The car dealer proposed a trade-in. She declined. Karen did, however, authorize an oil change for $29.99 and paid $185.36 for the diagnosis including labor, parts and miscellaneous. It was the hottest day of the year, reaching 97 degrees. Driving the car home with the windows down Karen adjusted the mirrors. The knob broke off and flew out the window.

The Nissan Leaf a 100% electric car with zero emissions is expected to be priced under $35,000. (Less than the average driver spends on gas over 10 years). MSRP is $33,720 with federal tax savings from 0-$7,500. After tax savings, Karen’s net costs could be as low as $26,220, assuming $1,999 initial customer payment. The Leaf will be available in limited quantities in late 2010. Alternatively, Karen could purchase a 1999 black Mercedes at the cost of $13,999. It has been converted to use bio-diesel and is available today.

16 oz. rice milk lattes with sugar free vanilla cost $4.25 from Full City Roasters. Full City is 7 miles away from Karen’s home. Which variant gives Karen the smallest carbon footprint: buying her coffee out or brewing her own? Please show your work and don’t forget to add in the cost of tipping the barista.

John Yohe

Individual coming together

The rain
the black oak tree, a rock
the open space in front of it, broken

stillwater, a mirror
whose face the wind destroys
the wind, with its desire to destroy
and on my wrists the long red scars
each erased of its many pictures.
I never believed a body’s mending held
the unknowns of its blindness:
weeds, mud tracks on the floor
a woman pulling away from her husband
across a dusty hotel bed, insulting him
as though his obedience caused it

I never saw them come together
the jagged wind that went out finally
I never dreamed of not watching that
the way we watched the sky on winter days
your foot on my back, the lipstick
the cold air

there is a darkness, and pleasure
the bound wrist changes everything
like wind feeds fire or carves rock
unseen, unidentifiable
except felt on the skin, exposed

my love for you this fire

my love for you this fire
burning in the desert
brighter than the lights of Phoenix
brighter than the moon & stars
in land too thick and steep to contain
I can only wait and try to sleep
while isolated pockets flare in the night —
orange light and crackling

my love for you this fire
these embers staring out of trees
these cat-faced snags
this smoke choking my lungs
blinding my eyes
and the ash covering my skin
the grit on my teeth
the heat on my face
stopping me from getting too close