Volume 10, Number 1

Excerpts

The Cartoonist’s Daughter

by Jennifer Moore

In the comedy of snapshots, I was backgrounded:
was the wall full of flowers or the saddest lobster in the tank,

which still was somehow funny. In my father’s monochrome eye,
in the rough sketch and single panel gag

the girl with the torn stocking was me, Our Darling
of the Smudged Cheeks. The little one who caught the punch-

lines before they hit the trash, and the pencils that fell
from the pockmarked ceiling. But all his comic strips

keep losing their edge; they can’t fill enough of this room’s balloons
to trigger any sort of chuckle. Writing from inside a garbage can,

I’m waiting for the A-ha! moment, for the Alley-Oop
into real-time laughter—wanting the joke to slip on its own peel

and the eraser to do its job. I am the colorist of muted marvels,
the laugh drawn out and drawn in by his crow quill pen.

Second Ballad from the Labyrinth

by Paula Cisewski

Continuing to fret over
something we wanted
to be meaningful

but wasn’t. Not in the specific
way we craved meaning.
This is one way to

avoid happiness. By we
I mean me. The singular
vulnerable, the shearing

away, hearsay or my say.
Candle and wolf tooth,
not that we were speaking

of hearses, but I am bursting
with facts with which to harrow
the field of the present moment.

Except there is no end
to the field! It’s a raining season.
When a storm arrives,

I’ll strain to hear a series
of raindrops which sounds, falling
on the roof, immaculate

and parental, as only poor weather
can. Since here can wipe us out.
Facts do little when one

desires consoling from the sky’s
clutch of grey. By one I mean
everyone.             Not really.

There is no balm for this
yesterdayism, but how
the tempo cools and lingers.



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Contributors

Piotr Florczyk
Christine Holm
Sarah Messer
Bill Carty
Mary Rechner
Ralph Angel
Jennifer Moore
Kyle McCord
Patricia Colleen Murphy
Mark W. Fry
Becky Hagenston
James Grinwis
Stephanie Ellis Schlaifer
Jillian Justh
Matt Hart
Mark Neely
Jesse Kominers
Farrah Field
Geffrey Davis
Lisa J. Cihlar
Rich Smith
 Paula Cisewski