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Volume 5 Number 2

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We are pleased to present the second issue of our fifth year, published on Monday, May 5, 2003. We hope you enjoy browsing through our extensive collection of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry! (See the Previous Issues list to discover the works in our collection, including the ability to search through the issues.)


The Fawn
by Christopher Woods

Now in the evening he walked to the window and looked out. Early in the day, he had buried his wife. Others, their friends, wanted to stay with him, but he had said he wanted to be alone. Now, he was. A strange and oppressive silence in the house surrounded him, almost making it hard to breathe.

Home Forever
by David Quinn

For Peter Stone to be in the pulpit at St. John's was like having a Muslim at Mass, but since his niece Shannon had asked him to "do a reading" during her wedding ceremony with Sean, he reluctantly said "Yes." Not everybody in Manayunk agreed with her decision, though. Thirty years previously his cousin David had asked him to be Best Man in his wedding and when the bride-to-be's Polish parents found out about it, they threatened to call off the whole thing. And Peter's own mother, Violet, right now, swore that she wasn't going to attend because "If everything is the way it should be in God's heaven, you'll be struck dead by a bolt of lightning."

The Daughters of Hiroshima
by John Eidswick

I found the old woman's body a few days before Hanako and I went to Hiroshima. I was taking out the trash. The morning sun was glaring through a gap between the freeway supports. I stepped out our front door, a plastic trash bag in my hand, and there she was, a stone's throw away.

Combo #9
by Steven Williams

I never minded standing in line at Joey K's Burger Barn, even when waiting behind half a dozen people, like today, because I knew that I would soon get a hunger-fighting, taste-delighting culinary masterpiece known as the #9 Combo. And, as always, Joey K's really knew how to treat a customer. No matter which way I faced in the chrome maze leading to the counter, I could see colorful posters depicting hamburgers of various sizes from the kid's size Silver Dollar Special to the 2pound Slab-O-Beef. There were square fish sandwiches and batter-fried fingers of beef and chicken, frosty beverages and frozen confections. There was also a television on each side of the counter. One was tuned, with closed captioning, to the soap opera channel where those who cared deeply could watch and read along as Luke and Laura agonized over their on-again off-again relationship that had lasted, off and on, for more than twenty years. The other was tuned to the news channel so that the noble workmen and women who frequented this fast-food bistro could catch the latest of world and local events before returning to the task of keeping this metropolis running smoothly. I held my place in line and watched the brunette anchorwoman as she spoke about the first-ever discovery of crop circles at a watermelon farm in rural Georgia. The artsy footage of Celtic interlace designs delicately created out of Charleston grays and black diamonds was worthy of being viewed at the Whitney Biennial. When it finally came to be my turn to step up to the counter, I had memorized the menu and knew exactly what I wanted for my luncheon.

Creative Nonfiction

Clowns of the Heart
by Sondra Upham

"What am I going to do," I asked Dode, my clown seatmate on the bus, as we headed toward Villa De Los Ninos, an orphanage in Mexico run by nuns for two thousand children.

Vindicating the Kaiser
by Lad Moore

At the neighborhood mission my grandparents founded, there was a rough old man in denim overalls who always arrived at the service early, but sat on the last pew and didn't mix much with the others. Sonny Cox told me that the old man was mean. He said that people around town named him "Kaiser," because that name had something to do with the enemy in the Great World War.


James Dickey in Texas from his words
by Walt McDonald

James Dickey grinned, big-boned
and pleased, but when he said the words,
they drawled together perfectly and long.
Poems said Southern are rocks
in a river bottom, his body swore
to boys cocked back in boots
and red-lipped girls in tight Levis.

The Man I Never Met
by Walt McDonald

Some sheriff, my father scoffed.
Mother kept silent and watched her father fade,
ten-foot oil of Grandfather mounted
on a stallion above the mantle.

The Year My Brother Went to War
by Walt McDonald

I remember Big Tex at the State Fair,
a cowboy statue forty feet tall,
barns with a thousand palomino stallions,

Turning Sixty-Five in Montana
by Walt McDonald

Rambling all over town and mountains,
they swagger in bow ties and boots,
in cahoots with real estate posses

A Flash of Thought in a Quiet Night
by Li Bai (701-762)
translated by Liu Yingkai and Steven Schroeder

Moon's bright light descends

A Moonlit Night
by Liu Fangping (fl. 742)
translated by Liu Yingkai and Steven Schroeder

Half the house is knee-deep in moon beams.

Visiting Tia
by Rebecca Balcárcel
Where I come from, groups of furniture are "suites,"
every outfit has its own set of shoes,
but at the house of my tia,
we wipe our hands on mismatched dish-towels,
flatten balls of harina into tortillas.

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