Will Arbery

Going Blind

I forgot how to count. I was dipping my hand into a bowl of rice and I felt like my hand was in a cast made of living insects. There was no single grain of rice. I couldn't imagine any edges. Soon everything became enclosed, like jelly. The refrigerator did not end, and became the china cabinet. There was no such thing as either. Nothing ended, nothing began. My dog was a sofa. My own feet were a stack of National Geographics. Cabinets did not open. Cabinets were plates, and, once, a cockroach. Everything was a deep hole near which I was always lingering. I looked for cold, cold places. I looked for eggs. I could still count eggs when they were cold, sitting five or six to a fist, truced in precious balance. I imagined them brown. I stood by the cold unopening of the non-refrigerator and counted, but when one egg fell, they all did, and I ran my hands sobbing through dripping tile until they became sand.

A.J. Huffman

Alone.  But Comforted.

You lay in a pile of billowing cotton.  Sainted
white piled and pulled up over your head.  I struggle
to find my place inside this scene.  Orchestrating
a bare-assed dig.  I twist and turn.  Contorting
my body into a shadow-shape.  Echoing you,
I settle into the background.  Not quite conformed.
(Not quite confirmed.)  But balanced
enough that I just might pass as a puzzle[d?] piece
of this night’s moonless dream.

Dawnell Harrison


Disappointment has another mouth
to feed and the earth is encumbered

with barbed wire.
I hear the echoes of despair

in this chilly December evening as
the crows drag their black dregs

behind them.
my pain dissolves in a quivering circle

as the night bends a band of blazon
snow hanging on the horizon.

gary lundy


take white paper
make sure it remains
unwrinkled without scars

take white paper
without blemish
cut it into seven equal pieces

seven signifying completeness
write upon each of the seven pieces
your name

write upon each of the seven pieces
your name
the one possessing

write your name
the one possessing
upon each of the seven pieces

with care and deliberation
hold each piece toward the east
with care and deliberation

hold each piece toward the east
ask the dawn to bless us
with care and deliberation

with care and deliberation
ask the dawn to bless us
kiss each piece in its turn

in its turn kiss each piece
be very still
bow your head

with each piece in its turn
take a match and light it
turn the flame onto paper

take a match and light it
turn the flame onto paper
as each piece flames speak

i must forget you
as each piece flames speak
i must forget you

seven times
take a match and light it
turn the flame onto paper

as each piece flames speak
i must forget you
i love you

five times
with a match
turn the flame onto paper

as each piece flames speak
i must forget you
i love you

i must let you go
three times
with the final match

turn the flame onto paper
speak a last time
i offer you the wind

Virginia Petrucci

Soul Braid

Florescent echo
Our birthright, pink infinite
Save it for the grave

Richard Dinges Jr.

With Television Still On

Television blares and casts
gray shadows over fetal
forms wrapped in rumpled
sweaters, side-by-side
twin beds in this
eternal twilight, breaking
all rules, wearing shoes
on sheets, little separation
from the dearly departed,
just a matter of flipping
them on their backs,
straightening their legs,
folding hands on chests,
and turning off the TV.

John Yohe

Unless love

We could pretend
love exists
and that we are in love
and do the things
those who are in love

like feed each other spoonfuls of ice cream
take walks on rainy park trails
say we missed each other
when we were apart
and kiss and touch
and fuck

but we would never say making love
because what we do then
is too violent
and selfish
to be love

is like that

unless love
is violent and selfish
and frightening like that

Mark Danowsky

The Hard-Boiled Egg Incident
Standing on my tiptoes
on a wicker chair
with a whole hard-boiled egg stuffed
in one cheek
searching the medicine cabinet
over the drying rack
(where they kept the candy)
when our tabby cat flies by so
the chair wobbles
& there’s a sound that makes me think
of the owl in that Tootsie Pop commercial
(after the owl says three)
when I hit the kitchen floor
when the egg pops out my mouth
crimson rings trail
as it rolls along the linoleum

Holly Day

Woman Hiding From Her Husband as He Tries to Fix Her Brakeline

makes a story for the rain,
holds her hands over her
ears, allows her eyes to glaze as
sunlight fades away, she

makes excuses for the
storm, hides her head beneath the
dirt, pretends to sleep, deaf
to the crashing sounds, she

waits, inside, cautious of
the returning storm, creeps outside
slow at noon, picks up the

beer cans.

John Williams

Inside the dreams of birds

 -after Rilke

there is still flight
          by migration,

a choice
     to shove off
           from earth’s
           tree-thronged nightscape,

     against instinct, without
     children nesting quietly—
              forever sated,

an escape
      cutting across
      communal trajectories

                (away from
        always it is
               away from)

       and alone

the empty sky
with its simultaneous
      sun      and      moon

      only in verbs
      and faultless mirrors
(a dreamt movement
through itself),

      slipped among feathers, a reverie
                six inches above land,

                                   you must change your life.

Rich Ives

Considerations in the Selection of a Satisfactory Dwelling

after André Breton 

I make leaves happy. They are the vertical roots of the tree that satisfy my aspirations. I have allowed slowness to inhabit me, including the scandalous improprieties of branches and a vast array of tall unruly grasses.

I have discovered that time does not consist of moments. Moments consist of time, including miniature versions of inappropriately arranged lives.

For this reason, I require the elegance of a thirsty wren beside a tin cup full of rainwater beneath the failing dusklight of the porch, and inside, with a view of the proceedings, dark rooms which I shall darken myself.

I should require, as well, underground egress, for pleasure and propriety, along with several inverted treehouses and a grand white pergola for the discussion of tedious social propositions on warm summer evenings beneath the martins and the bats.

In time I shall become the companion of abandon. In this my secret nest shall slowly oblige me, built as it shall be inside the facade of a respectable oak of sufficient complexity to discourage spiders only temporarily.

I should require no interlocutors in the administration of my desires but rather more desires in the administration of my interlocutors.

All the clocks shall be made of lichen. I shall require no Merovingian chairs or Victorian settees, as they encourage sensitivities I am unable to share with the deer. Commentary on the disposition of butterflies shall be withheld until the winter months, when it can be sufficiently batted about without the interference of the actual experience.

If the meadow’s profluent excesses are to be treated as bed linen, they must be washed each night in dew and allowed to dry slowly in the precocious vagaries of the next day’s attentions, while I myself attend to my own transformation.

I do not find acceptable any bodies of water, either moving or stationary, unaccompanied by rough edges, aided and abetted by servings of detritus and flotsam.

I shall take an oath to look not into but out of whatever openings might become useful for the separation of my alternate abode from the appearance of a box since it exists for the satisfaction of entirely different purposes than anything likely to be contained in it.

If I decide a room for the disarrangement of flowers is to be included, I shall allow the sun to design it by its selective absence and raise it with slow, painful consideration of the universe’s irreproachable state of unqualified determination using only the finest disappearances available.

Roofing shall be addressed by the weather’s philosophies. As abundant as they are, their very ordinariness is sufficient reason to believe they will endure. If visitors choose to ignore their dependable excesses, I shall have been well served beneath them. Their weight is not of the literal kind and shall allow for less interference from the walls, which shall in their turn allow for less interference on the part of those captured by appearances.

I shall need no cradle, for I hold my innocence apart and have taught it not to cry out at inauspicious moments, such as those enhanced by the stealth of darkness.

The only animals of white deportment encouraged to linger shall be the two moons, the one passing along greetings from an uncle I remember seeing yesterday and the one that lives inside that memory, where I live with my considerations and complicate each day with reflection.

Dan Hedges


{the day is abuzz
with constant elegy,
a wic of delusion,
wic of conscious unbelieving;
from end to end
the day is constant requiem;
the day is abuzz}

Michael Amitin

She said it was the hashish that caused her
Schizophrenic breakdown rhapsody in the rocky mountain night
Her father drank himself balmy by all means

Thirty years doin time for ancestral crimes
Woven through nightsoft lullabies
Half french half anglais.. three quarters gone
Hangin on by a thread

We met on the rue with the madcap motos buzzing by our tired
Weary late fiftyish toes
My ash blown eyes fighting off the urban snow

Pure, ebullient as a harmless child
In a harbor where trust runs mild
She’d scream her salutes
Whirring past the heads of the big town brutes

Her father editor of new stories friends to the hip
Well pops here’s a new story you can hear
From your tombstone your daughter dear
Is alive and well and kicking frost in the boneyards
of big top Paris

Raul Sanchez

Velvet Memory

The farther I get
the more I remember
the moonlight reflected
in your eyes
when the angels
riding silver horses
my suitcase filled
with pieces of both
our hearts
pinned down
to the soft velvet memory
ebb of our effervescent lives
we shall meet in the luminous path
across the window to the new world
the other side of darkness
where the sun will shine
upon us

Simon Perchik


You can forecast the rain, this Frisbee
overhead though one hand
is always weaker, holds on

the way your belly makes room
for flames, for lower and lower turns
that help you see in the dark

while the Night Star leads the others down
to drink in safety --a great herd
all night thinning out the air

higher and higher, higher and wider
and because the darkness is still water
you can't hear the sun closing in

crack open the smallest stones
for their light weaker by the hour
--it's a now-or-never toss

--you ask too much! it's not some ship
from space --it's a game for beginners
--you grip the Frisbee and the Earth

still can't keep its balance
is coming toward you as shadow
half way up, tightening around

your waist, closer and closer
around the fire inside
you were saving for feathers and later.


It's time! the ache side to side
and across your forehead
the wrinkles split open

--the cramp comes into this world
as the tightening grip
that has your eyes, your cry

takes you by the hand
the way its shadow falls
exhausted, in pain and now

two mouths to feed though one
is still invisible and you
are never strong enough

to lift it, to bathe it
as if it needed lullabies
would grow into your arms

held up to be carried
one next to the other
--what you hear in the ground

is the cry birds have, made crazy
from watching the sky forever
hold down the Earth though this rake

leaves nothing intact, its handle
half unnoticed, half
from behind, holding on, held

by the still damp dirt
floated out for more room
that enters from somewhere

and everything around you
backwards and forwards, covered over
with eggshells and emptiness.


They have no second thoughts
and still your footprints
inch by inch, gradually

made whole the way this shovel
lost its taste for dirt
carries in only snowfall

leaves its own reason at home
for a room that stays
close by, becomes those skies

one by one, done for, dives
on every path night first
--you dig for worms

as if one would tell you
or show you, or move your hand
or with the light off

a kamikaze cry for light
--you have no return
and step by step no morning.


Its plume half green
half the way each leaf
lowers its head to drink

while this shaky window
keeps cool in the cellar
--for weeks its glass

rising, finally breaks through
though there's no waterfall
no raging flood or downstream

only cold air as if the dead
can be lulled to these shelves
sweetened by soaps, by boxes

and jars and cans
and nothing floats anymore
except what's hollow

once had water inside
where this underworld
whose steps are wood

rises leaf by leaf
from the sea
every wave is looking for

and though these pipes
were thrown about
between the docks and hulls

nothing's changed
--it's cold and you forgot
who you came down running for.


It's hopeless! every nail
exhausted, falls over
as if the treeline

--there's not enough air
though the hammer, half
relentless, half turning back

the way all rescue begins
just below the horizon
for leverage --Casey

the nail you lift up
can be used again
--a second try to hold together

the same sky, familiar now
--there's hope --darkness
is what you're learning

for when a warm breeze
bends down to cup your hands
around the evening star

you will soon wait for
till all that's left to breathe
is a love song, one after another

--you pull out this nail
as if it were a flower
maybe tomorrow, would become

your voice, already scented
and in your arms
a beautiful woman is listening.

Summer break

Reminder to all you Snow Monkeys and potential Snow Monkeys ..

We take July and August off. We'll be back with the first issue of volume 25 starting in September.

We'll be reading your submissions occasionally between trips.

Have fun this summer!

--The Editors

Chad Scheel

from "Silhouettes"


are an









in         are

in         in







knuckle rub












busses go be


akin to eye washing stray


flashy black



ball-capped boys the same














it’s all repainted fenders today

Joe Farley

red black clay
lightening shatter
shard flower

Alexander Milne

Writing Back Words

He took it as far as he could, still morning air, dolour leaves, cheery picked tomb side, green to grey, hills disappearing in the mist  and still, further, the sea still, lapping incessant, incandescent.

His mark or marker, if you will, puzzled the walking masses, forward to the city, always forward to the city, trees gently growing from cracks, unspeakable, head first into each new day, his timing was impeccable.

Up with the sun or nearly, time he thought, pondered mostly, but came to an understanding, he was to leave in due course for lands beyond, reckoning or reasoning,  he left that to others, sticking to the sidewalk whenever he could.

Rooftops provided the best view, but he was still reeling from the shock of a morning that never fully mourned, born of sweat, the truth had so far eluded, so far, he thought and still nowhere.

He was convinced it wasn’t enough, riding the rails, further still, gathered, tired eyes no longer burning...manic joy followed by the abyss.

He felt certain, which was rare...

Carrie Lorig & Russ Woods

How to Fix a Root Broken for

how to fix a root broken for
ninety a hundred days when
you’re clutching us you’re hold-
ing us on. come here root root
here root root root we little are
blue hearts are we are a crime
wave on you you see it. when i
come to you as a root love in lugg-
age crown me over like show me
your very best milk, spider-lover.
me and the roots are hair-touching you
and you grow root-houses up from
our ugly see it. shortly keep it and wear
its grease out to the working distant
play of what you would probably say
were hot deals growing but i would say
they were just graves. forts of swords
are old brushes with us not just the
fingernail dirts seasicked into the
cough dropping water where the dunk
folded necks of our neon go chased
together. that storing will knock the
rumbling as if it never said any
of us. don’t don’t don’t you re-
peal me. my warm arms are joining in
a loop for you.

Richard Carr


Though my thistly lisp
says it otherwise

and my prickly lips glisten

it is the airplane that is drunk Miss
not I

but we parley uselessly
with the spinning world

John Ryan

The hour of the slowest clock

I call awake night/
      against the mourning woke
the crescent ebbing/
        the bell cup steeple white
against  barren branches/
                 lambent lunula
sonorous lacuna/
     prizing sight from light

Dan Hedges


{when you’re standing here in the river,
fly-fishing for aesthetic reasons,
the light on the water is everything
you want to be or can’t be
as you seem to
forward-face all time-space
with at least
a discernible skill}


so obviously
in the saline
of life
sense that
taken root in the
fertile acumen of their
aesthetic score}


grows tomatoes
in the previous
semantic involvedness
and reverential ache}

Stephanie Guo

Stained Sepia

You will know it

When you smell her oolong

Staining your windows sepia –

When you realize Clorox

Was not made for scrubbing.

You will know it

When you finger the uneven line breaks

Of your broken aubade –

When you trade sense for solace.

You will know it

When you begin to believe

That her yellow tulips

Spurt black petals,

When her garden gloves

Are found and misplaced

And found once again –

All in the same breath:

When you taste your promontory

Overlooking a senseless sea

Luke Laubhan

I Came in a Budget Rental Truck

I have a vague idea of how I came to be from Oklahoma.  Centuries ago, sometime after Christ, a group of German barbarians pulled themselves up from the dirt, started roaming  the countryside, pillaging.  They called themselves Laub-Hunne: leaf men.  After a while, the Laub-Hunne tired of plundering and converted to Judaism.  They ditched their bearskin, started wearing tapered pants and yarmulkes.  They migrated to Russia, populated the Volga river bank, fiddled, whittled, and made vodka out of tundra potatoes.  Before long, they turned into Russian Orthodox, a prerequisite for intermarrying the lithe, raven daughters of Tsar’s kingdom.  They bore tiny Laubhanovich’s and Laubhanova’s.  Cross-bearing men in furry шапки rode in on big horses, though, burned down their buildings.  They loaded boats and sailed for America, settled in Oklahoma on land won in land runs, and became “Laubhans,” real American Protestants.  They coaxed wheat from the prairie, fixed fried chicken and rhubarb pie for Sunday supper, fought the Krauts for their country.  But not a lot happens on the Plains.  All there’s to do is linger in the Wal-Mart parking lot and plot to move.  That’s what I did.  I don’t know where I’m taking my people now, or what we’re becoming next. We live in Seattle.

Simon Perchik


Ankle deep and these stars
expect you to come by
stomp out their flames

the way each sky
keeps its place in line
-even before there was rain

you needed streams
and slowly through your legs
the heart you have left

lets go these footsteps
shining in water
as if here is the fire

still beating as nights
as hair and lips
and overflowing.


Bone dry and the wall
pulls this frame closer
held up, evidence

the glass that's missing
once was water -proof
the sea that hid this shell

is just now reaching you
as emptiness, the kind
you can still find in a room

circling the Earth for moonlight
for a place that's safe
though your jaws stay open

make room for a single cliff
gaining on the others
without salt or shoreline.

Jon Conley

Report from a Hammock, with a Peach, Outside of the Library

I saw a floating sheep and there you were       nestled in mohair

peeking out at some sky                               some cake-filled sky

cut from the muscles                                    of a woman

Drive Thru

with the starter fluid sucked out and the explosions

we tweak while            we wait

you put the car in drive

and I hull

full foot force forward

into James Drive with its perverts and explosions

sails out and whales    

when from underneath the sea

the baby cries and breaks

into a rash

j/j hastain

From Luci: a Forbidden Soteriology


It is a poetic skill to be able to say and do what you mean at the same time. Is a poetic sense dominantly human or angelic? I am not meaning to put these two at odds, I just wonder. I know that angels don’t move by strictly human skill (or by human skin for that matter) but move instead by indelible passion: devotional extremes. I am devoted to and by embrasure, coordinates: a conjuring that conveys by amplifying or dimming brightness.

Trust the image as you see it. Trust the image, please. An image is a beneficial repertoire of fragments.

Daniel Scott Parker


for years the farmer never
the weather is full of telephones all ringing at once
kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkka kind of crazy rug burn
with the xanthous corn and a whole lot of tangled
there are so many beans there are beans everywhere
well kept and cared for honest to god work


dew drops clung at sidewalks meant to an odd-angled lean
pale morning light unfurled over the near invisible
forms of window sills and bolt holes untying the darkness last to
the palming shoots addressing light’s peculiar
his woody fingers curled hardly at the fibers
a rustle flinched among the milklight
that’s when he had to
he knew he had to
a whinny and a wetly gasp


it was too attached to me
i’ve told you this more than seventeen times
just go, kansas


Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Orpheus:


something nailscratched in the dirt
to make his exit first
sunlight draining from the day
to shine the talcum moon
there were so many teeth they were like chainsaws
have you ever seen anything so perfect
it took a hundred years for this one
nobody knew there was boy inside there

Jesse Mack

from The Blue Rooms


On good days my past likes to go for walks
among the red hedges she sips dew
from the petals & when her lips get red
I laugh her hair laughs with me we discuss
furniture glimpsed through windows & often
we seem to agree but holes on occasion
appear in wooden dining room tables
& when a lead weight gets dropped through a hole
it sinks & only I see it sinks
into a blue room where I remember kissing
Erin the sheets grew nervous in our hands
& it feels like I lean into her although I am not
leaning now it’s as if she is holding some money
out to me saying take this & I have to


When I came upon this tall white building I knew
each of its rooms was a part of my past
& I was a white boat grazing lightly
the water but when I rest my eyes upon
the water three parting geese deride
some courtesy extended by blueness
to remain as simple as a matchbook emptied of
matches or the way one scrape along the pavement
ties me to a mainsail draped around a fawn
the grasses chewed & permanent but like a rig
unroped from a guardrail I proceed through the blue
fog with no wish but pinching Erin’s first
feather between two fingers as often as I wish
one year could careen laughing into the next

dan raphael

Yearning for the Moon

I am yearning for the moon, howling for my yearn
with my mouth sealed shut, my face as obscure as the moon’s,
my body as dispersed as the sky.
all us voiceless dogs inciting the winds blunt impetus—
getting no answers, no takers—
the wind doesn’t know what its saying
as if each fluttering leaf another tribes  tongue

we know better than to look up, meditating on the lines of our laces
a music without notes, just beat and scratches
getting to the next rise, the lunar eclipse of daylight

moon in the man, stars we take what flickers of we can afford
through our mouths    our eyes    our veins.
we could have died thousands of years ago and not know it
still shining with rage & joy sudden through our molecules
opening into untouchable universes that never get here—
universe in a patch of skin someones scratching,
universe in an acorn I ran over going nova northwest of orion

Dog Days

I let the dog out of the bottle
I picked the bottle before it was dry
the bush wasn’t a net yet
spiders over the horizon

dog bed rising, glass bell leaks
bushy-tailed tree-rats random dance of forestry
3 years later I remembered where I parked it
despite monthly mowings

I opened the bottle and went inside
are those epaulets or wading pools
my phone barks, my door-dog howls,
smoked meat smell moves around invisible

the wind is a hissing loop
I have to fondle to know how to cook it
cracking the refrigerator like a safe
like an egg for a gear shift

I scratch to make fire
full bottles are instant karma
as if each car in the mile long train was another story
when the moon makes shadows sing

Michael Dwayne Smith

Changing Landscapes

“There are eyes everywhere.  No blind spot left.  What shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?  We’ll dream of being blind.”  –Paul Virilio

Move away from the picturesque.
Hand the twentieth century back to its resistors
of urbanization.

City sprawl, with its fizzing white bulbs and dense
violet sky, its Mondrian of telephone wire and all night
signs of neon salvation, expands from a view
on small, concrete-laced hills.

Camera eyes frame outskirts, two-story stucco
hives, where gasoline-stained drones sit on folding chairs,
mingle on spray-painted streets.

junkies, taggers, raggedy housedresses
stepping past sleepy Mexican food wagons, mindless.
Fail to investigate shifts in landscape.  They wade into rapid,
do not reinterpret topography.

This, where insects click against shop glass.  Tire rubber, oils
mix in complacent trails of cigarette smoke.

Color and form and tension.

What is natural?
What is developed?

Environment encases focus.
Vernacular disappears, leaving locations behind like
blunted seasons, returning over
several years, a document of individual dwellings,
a survivor of passage.  Facets, fumes, theatrical nighttimes.
Dark, disoriented business.  Fragments experienced in spaces.

What is public?
What is private?

Memory, decaying rolls of film.  Images,
whimsical murder seen through a rain-streaked taxi window.
Life always the unrealized day.
Working class, a footnote.

Millionaire entrepreneurs
and ex-mayors expose the new freedom: it is isolation.
Privilege makes no exceptions.

Sharp, candid photographs of wealthy women in extravagant
homes.  Over-saturated, viscous tones.
Models of opulence.
Rare glimpses.

The world strives to be elite.  Its characters struggle to be
ostentatious.  Poverty is not contrast, only stark.

Poor is hollow-eyed grays and browns
brushed layer over layer, a country of landscapes reduced
to one inevitable impasto,
wads of fossilized idea
stuck on a canvas of long forgetting.

Quinn White

Walrus Tooth

The walrus, after brushing his teeth,
flopped into my bedroom.
He clapped his flippers and announced,
"Time to turn in!" I refused.
The walrus jumped on top of me. I escaped
and stood in the corner. "If you aren't
sleeping, let's take a drive," he said.
I suggested we go to the zoo.
The walrus declined, "I would be only
a creature among creatures."
We wound up at a diner.
He ate a BLT and I filled a napkin
with verse. He instructed,
"Pay particular attention to verbs."