So far it’s been a month of spring. I’m realizing that of the things that wake florally up, most don’t get to stay up for that long, frost pruning those bold ones that break ground too soon. It’s sad, especially with the weather being so increasingly unpredictable, to see the little green tips that wager on a warm day in late February. I guess it’s like the frog or mosquito strategy at laying eggs: send as many shoots into the realm of the living, and nurture only those emissaries that report back. But what about those that don’t? Where are they commemorated?




I’ll Pick Which

by Rob Rice




Passing him, him not interested in looking at me is

in me forever

off packaging life turnaround


People gave up known people

known open gnashing maw

now they’re feeder cells


Sea beads populate a Ferris wheel

a chill induced in-folding fern bud

pockets dew



When you suspect through supplied theatre

the street

as it is


the people

as they are


without with what

you made them more than


Space and


and Mark



I would never be happy if I didn’t think of myself

in ways I




so manipulation

means making

them think

you think

of them

the way

they hope that they’re thought of



Is the size of the town’s graveyard

a credential

a breast of military metals

a flashed badge

a fake one


The smaller the town the longer the obit

the more dedicated Death of one man’s hero

seems like permission

to save the world

if not to slush it



My own synesthesia meets the man

brings me face to face me


It bends around the right few things

and acquaints us



nested intentions

tune humiliate rather

than procreate



Blame my scattered interest tines

that like Braille

are tactile agents of change



substrates that mill


Dripping seamy invasions

of private space


sensitive thin skin

her inner forearm




affectation involves it in a gesture so

intentionally his affection’s a freezer full


of steak fat clippings



Devil matter spans material like film

and becomes projection


while no less faithful a record



Rigid phase walkers pass through brambles


Brushed aside they’re

leaving stories of their own on that forearm

its etchings are three-dimensionally

deep maps


Clue engineers in there

allowing them to back-solve the structures:

a simple nature



I’m let down when you’re like me

when I realize the smoke is

of what’s just like the mirror


I train myself

blindfolded to sit in my room smelling

bombs Tell me what to fear

faces made bizarre by makeup

startle mine as they turn

to register it



Chest used like the beauty of consent

from tree to future canoe


Hollowed out with tools the anthropologists are grabbing

out of our hands to stick in museums


My heart and lung gore still riddling one

solid and trusted handle

brings new hope for purchase and center placement


Where fat older brothers point it out


Though they haven’t been much for the other pieces

this one has something to it

something it took





An Order of Operations



When he went in, sorry, under, out of vanity, out of anger at his current beauty for hinting at such huge power. So he went all elective on it, on his Crow’s and cleft and high bones. In there, he grabbed the marker from the doctor and started circling on his own, designating whole ambitious swaths for removal from his face. Despite the doctor’s protest he put himself down, hit hard at that gas, looking, while still on the edge, at his engineer, making sure he knew to follow the lines laid out for him.

Waking, he saw; perfection. Sharpness, then high and wide shelves of bone barricading his eyes from his long, vulpine cheeks. He was crystalline, dangerously beautiful, and he bore it, for long years, crippling passing people with it, them submitting to it, their instincts taking over and bending them into a bow.

But eventually, that wasn’t low enough. He got used to them, pitched at the hips, seeing the tops of their heads, and he’d fed himself and his vanity off of it, even sated at times, rich and fire-eyed from the nourishment, but, as was his way, he wanted more. So, some dark raining midnight, he returned to that theatre, once again wielding his own pen, this time attempting not to derive beauty but derangement. He wanted to see us on our backs. So began, as we have come to know it now, The Revision.




by Jamie Thomson




So I go and I ride horses with no hands The horses
they are the ones without the hands
As for me I’m not some total full-blown dunce
I’m doing much better since the procedure
thanks for asking With all these additional limbs
I can now firmly hold everything I love at once
and so close I think it is good for the things I love
to see precisely the other things I love Roast beef
for example its presence should not then presuppose
the exclusion of bocce balls from the equation My hands
are so full! I have so much of things!





One fine morning there were birds
in every tree and they were singing
so many songs and I was singing too
and right on key and my onion was alive
and well and filling the room with her sweet
onion smell and the ducks all there in rows
asleep in their eggs and downstairs shining
in the light or rather the source of all light
my toaster! my pretty green toaster!




*For Alistair

Under a fingernail a man grew until that fingernail
broke apart into a pile of its own dust The man
wiped the dust from his forehead and entered
his life Of course he did not thank the fingernail
for what it had done So I came and I wept
for the fingernail I swept up its dust into a cobalt
box I carry that box along with the other boxes I carry





In that line to have my candle lit I said How lucky
to be one of the chosen few standing here in line
with my little white candle beneath the trees
who are like strangers or some very old friends
All was dark I imagined I was finally departing
per my most urgent wish This happened
many years ago in the room with no walls
Remarkable how long they kept us in that room!





Now in the backyard in the pit I am chopping up
the mice because the mice were being
naughty It is my absolute favorite chore
I don’t even think anymore I just let the knife
do all the work while I daydream
about beef until night when I can close my eyes
and dream the Eternal Dream of Beef
unimpeded To a beetle in the grass today
it would appear the rain has turned
to blood It would appear it is raining blood today




GAME #17

I am taking my left leg and sticking it
where her nose was because her nose
was needed to replace the toe in his teeth





When a flower dies I cradle that flower
high upon the marble steps It is my one
true calling to gaze and whisper small happenings
of the world into wilted stalk I say There goes
an aeroplane in that determined way
that only aeroplanes know I say The wind, the wind





I talk to chickens because chickens are dumb
Although I am dumb I am not as dumb
as a chicken Herein lies the crux In many ways
they are just like little dust bins I am like most people
in my resemblance to a somewhat larger dust bin
but also my general incompetence and this desire
to be king I walk from room to room addressing my flock
I say It is a long way to Reno folks I say The pancake
was not a pancake and is the reason Esmeralda is dead
When I stare into the eyes of a chicken I see a field It is always
the same field It is covered in snow A man walks away
toward some other thing I call to him but he does not turn