Literary

Catharine Lucas/Poetry

AFTERMATH Big Sur, California, May 2009 Phosphorescent green flickers against wet dark,             fire in another tongue Memorials of trees, stripped bare, black as mummies, stand witness Leaf-laden alders, parchment ghosts, testify in blanched whispers Our dead...

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Alita Pirkopf/Poetry

  TEAHO-- USE IN THE JAPANESE GARDEN The young man and the ancient Japanese flute make sounds like breath and wind, like rain and river, make sounds that soar—like birds— sounds that sing— toward evening’s silence, sounds we are told, of water dripping— from the...

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Donna Vitucci/An excerpt from “Salt of Patriots”

On this first of September, sundown rushed a draft through the practice area. Patrice pulled her papa’s old grey sweater closer. The rest of the singers had been little more than acquaintances; she immediately forgave them their small-mindedness. And she and Agnes had shared nothing beyond Thanksgiving dinner, walks home in the dark, giggles, and naïve, girlish dreams. Patrice had been caring for her mother while other girls learned the tricks to making and keeping friends. Another way in which her mother had robbed her.

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Marc Vincenz/Interview

On the surface, few believe that change can occur through rhetoric or wordplay and yet, a critical mass appears to be as easily swayable today as they were during the rise of the Communist parties of China or the Soviet Union or the National Socialist Party of Germany—or even more recent brain-scrubbers like Sun Myung Moon and L. Ron Hubbard. Public figures and media addicts somehow manage to float on even the flimsiest of logic. In the end it appears that it is emotion that sways a populace. How else could millions follow the obvious maniacal rants of a rug-headed, ineloquent narcissist whose family rechristened themselves after a deceptive playing card?

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Tim Walker/Creative Nonfiction

Dana enters the aviary carefully, closing the door behind him. The plover chicks, alert but unafraid, watch him with eyes like obsidian beads. He strews a handful of hoppers on the floor for the chicks to chase down. A few hoppers escape through the aviary’s mesh, and Cris’s free-range chickens snap them up. Like the snowies, the chickens have been watching us and waiting for our bounty of juicy arthropods.

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Carl Auerbach/Poetry

  EXILE The word bird does not itself take flight from ..........off .................the ........................page. nor do the letters robin insert their beak deep into the field of white between the text to impale a small wet worm. We are torn from being by...

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Julieanna Blackwell/Fiction

She did not fumble with a card and a detached machine. Instead, she handed him a five, establishing a degree of contact, even if only through a piece of paper. He took the bill, tapped the keys on his register, forcing open the drawer. She held out her palm, spreading long fingers wrinkled and scarred by the echoing shapes of flames that once danced across her skin.

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Catherine Lucas/Poetry

AFTERMATH Big Sur, California, May 2009   Phosphorescent green flickers against wet dark, .............fire in another tongue Memorials of trees, stripped bare, black as ............mummies, stand witness Leaf-laden alders, parchment ghosts, testify...

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Shelly R. Fredman/Creative Nonfiction

There are birds here, and butterflies making their way between the flowers in the garden. Lilacs thick with honeybees, and goldfinches too. Brailsford knows all of the names of the flowers. I only know the sounds of the birds and study their different voices, their constant songs that tell me, always, it will be all right.

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Wendy Fox/Fiction

I read that when chickens are crammed too many to one pen, they’ll begin to peck one another’s eyeballs out, and this is happening in the office. There are fights over stolen lunches, there are endless complaints about the temperature, there is general malaise. We decide to expand into an adjoining space, and construction begins, or deconstruction: a wall is being removed. The sound of sawing does not improve the general mood, but I try to remind the people whom I talk to that it will be better.

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Susan Taylor Chchak/Fiction

Silence. A bird maybe. Not a cloud up there. I pull myself up. Shake myself off. Look around. No one has seen me. Close the gate. Kick aside the rock that kept it cracked—some secret rendezvous, no doubt. Blackie would have had your head for that back then. I do my best to look like I belong here. Like I know what I’m doing. Like I’ve paid my rent and signed my lease. No one is around; it’s early yet. These aren’t science students, they’re artists and writers and they sleep in. A plaque with famous names engraved. Gaslights. The flowers tended. The big house where the parties were…

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Joe S. Pfister/Fiction

I can see the tiny, red puncture wounds just above the left knee. I make a tourniquet of my shirtsleeve and boost him into my saddle. We ride all day and night, and when the horse collapses from exhaustion, I drape W over my shoulders in a fireman’s carry.

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Paul Sohar’s Budapest

On relative scale of time anything is possible, because motion measures its own time; for instance, there’s plenty of time for these two to stop acting like wax figures and jump on me right here, knock me down and rob me of my local i.d. papers, money, credit cards, my cell phone, my room key card, and what else? My life? It’s a good thing I left my US passport in the room. But what if they force their way into my room?

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Sam Grieve/Fiction

Laura surveyed herself in the mirror. She was wearing a knee-length navy nylon skirt, which was already beginning to chafe the skin on her thighs. And blue knee socks, black penny-loafers, a white shirt with a striped blue and white tie, and a shapeless jersey with the school crest embroidered above her left breast. And suddenly, with a ferocity of wave crashing over her, she felt a hankering for her old uniform—that soft cotton dress in its gingham check with the white collar and short sleeves—and her vision swam.

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Five More Books/V12N4

In addition to weaving an engrossing story in Finding the Raven, Pieczka’s two main protagonists happen to be young women with substance. At a time when well-heeled women were considered to be little more than ornaments for a man’s arm with few rights outside of child-rearing and the running of the household, the characters of Julia and Rose evolve from being helpless females to slowly standing on their own two feet as they take command of their lives.

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Marina Soler/Poetry

Last Deceptions   Regardless of how fond and fondling stars inculcate the dark there is yet to press the wax seal against each enveloped space— gaps  infinite and intimate a woman standing by a window, her back to the audience of antiques:   everything...

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Michael Meyerhofer/Poetry

THE MAN WHO INVENTED FIRE A hundred million nights before the first electric chair, some bored Neanderthal with the luck of a TV detective knocked two rocks together and made them spark. Glacial wind pawed the hide hung over the cave-maw. Maybe an infant cried in the...

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Wendy Stewart/Creative Nonfiction

We’re worrying, Barb and I, about paying our rent that month. We’re making light of it, but it’s on our minds. We run through ludicrous job possibilities. We fantasize about our secure professional futures and about how it should be possible, right now, to borrow a little against those —“pay you back when we’re 45!” (just to pull an unthinkable age out of the air)—but we know we’re both going back to waiting tables. We know that the tips we earn this weekend will get us through.

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W. P. Kinsella, In Memoriam

In 1997, Bill was involved in a car accident that affected his cognition, rendering him unable to focus at length on anything. The accident also affected his senses of smell and taste. I remember talking to Bill about the effects and how he said he just couldn’t write anything creative any more.

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More Book Reviews: Wish for Amnesia & State of Grace

The book is a kaleidoscope of references to obscure and eclectic subjects evinced by Jewel, the self-indulgent Caroline, the in-over-his-head Jack, and the evil godmother Beatrice. As such, they are delightful to experience, especially since most are explained in one way or another saving the reader a trip to her Oxford dictionary or Britannica encyclopedia, or (more likely these days) his run to a computer to fact check with Google or Wikipedia. — from Wish for Amnesia, by Barbara Rosenthal

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The name Ragazine was coined in the mid-’70s in Columbus, Ohio, as the title of an alternative newspaper/magazine put together by a group of friends. It was revived in 2004 as ragazine.cc, the on-line magazine of arts, information and entertainment, a collaboration of artists, writers, poets, photographers, travelers and interested others. And that’s what it still is.