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.