Oil on canvas, 22" x "24"
Emily Rapport
December 2012

Self Portrait with Robot, oil on canvas by Emily Rapport

from “The Second Book of Muwadi”
Victor David Sandiego
November 2012

My death rolled over in bed with a sorrowful face.

“Why do you not embrace my torso?” it asked
and for a moment
I became frozen between worlds.

The babbling street crawled in one ear through the window
and heaven descended from the bovada bricks
into the other. Street and heaven clashed behind my eyes
and severed my vision.

But I recovered and to my death replied:

“It is your neck I love, the rough dusty feel on my fingers
when I caress the crypt”–

and my death merely stared at me,
as if I had ordered a coffee in a foreign tongue.

Kristin LaTour
October 2012

for Antoinette

I knew she was of the sea
from the green shimmer
of her body, and the seaweed
that coiled round her waist.

She lay on that rock
buoyed by life and the warm sea.
Her rounded breasts fell
to each side of her ribcage;
her arms reached down
to let her fingers play in the water.

I could not see her face,
turned as it was from mine,
but her hair, her hair
was what I wanted:

long as my leg,
curly as the chips that fall
from the boat maker’s plane,
brown as the wood planks
that shine on the deck.

I wanted to wrap my fingers
in the mass like fish hiding in coral.

I wanted to bury my face
in her neck and smell the salt sea.

Oil on canvas, 60" x 60"
Oscar Martinez
September 2012

Everything Is Now A Dream, oil on canvas by Oscar Martinez

Heather Holliger
August 2012

You can survive on only ten inches of living skin.
While I count my birthdays, sticking white twist-candles

into yellow cakes, you grow a new layer of flesh
from your cambium, a ring of growth 1/100th of an inch.

In your rings, in your old skins, you’ve recorded the climates—
dry seasons, wet years, temperatures, and you tell us

about soil and wind and bedrock, even about sunspots.
Written in your rings is a story about us; we call it

dendrochronology, as if you were a fossil, or bones,
but no, your needles are green, you make red-purple

flowers in the spring, you are the oldest known still alive.
If I had roots like yours, if I could drink from limestone,

if I could endure through a mere twelve inches of rainfall,
I would make of myself a knotted, gnarled faith, a multi-trunked, branching desire.

Oil on canvas, 10" x 30"
Benjamin Murphy
July 2012

Untitled No. 13, oil on canvas by Benjamin Murphy

photograph by Matt Reoch
June 2012

Alcatraz 339, photograph by Matt Reoch

Lesley Dame
May 2012

They say it was a pomegranate, not an apple,
that brought us all this knowledge. It seems absurd
to us, who spend our autumns peeling and coring,
slicing and heating, burning our fingers as we fill
the clear glass Ball jars. Food of life, we think,
food for thought. We wonder who invented sin.
Who named it. It’s the naming of a thing that makes
it real, makes us feel it close to our skin, tickling.
What would happen if we forgot the words
and began again? What would happen if we didn’t label
each jar but offered them to you, hands open?

Mira Martin-Parker
April 2012

I look at you
every evening,
and you gladly show yourself to me.

You're not at all shy.

In fact you're brazen.
You twinkle and shift—
wink and smile—
turn about.

Every evening
I come to you,
eager for your display.

I await your colors—
gray,
gold, and blue.

I await your smell—
smoke,
sea, and cypress.

When that time comes
and you call for me

obediently

I will slip on my shoes
and head for your door.

Cheryl Snell
March 2012

The thing about it is its size.
It’s smaller, and your sister is there
on the other side of the screen, waiting
to be told goodbye. It’s not as if you could
hop on your bike and rush back to hug her,
although that might enlarge the moment.
Instead, the memory keeps shrinking,
blinking off and on like fireflies
she used to catch in a jar.
Their pale light receded
as you rode past your father
watering the brittle grass
full of the ends of other lives.
Beyond that extinguished light,
the memory of light;
and behind that,
the sound of your sister
pushing through the screen,
twisting open the jar.

cibachrome by Wendy Bednarz
February 2012

Man Over Ganges, cibachrome by Wendy Bednarz

Thomas J. Erickson
January 2012

They are trying to start
over. It’s a rambling ride with stops
and starts. When she feels like she can’t
do it again she thinks of killing herself
but death is too busy for her right now.

Her friends all meet in a group and say
things like only talk to him four times
a week
and tell her to depend
on a higher power
. She talks to her
dog who feels worn out.

He takes the long view because
his hands have been burned by all
the re-ignitions. It’s funny, he thinks,
how the clock has stopped between the two
ticks that separate one day from the next,
how time is just a series of perpetual presents.

To his surprise, she has turned the knife
toward him. Should he disarm her? No.
Better to be stabbed and stabbed—
she can’t kill him now anyhow.

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