Amarillo Bay 
 Volume 14 Number 1 

Amarillo Bay Contents
Volume 14 Number 1

We are pleased to present the first issue of our fourteenth year, published on Monday, 6 February 2012. We hope you enjoy browsing through our extensive collection of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry! (See the Works List to discover the over 500 works in our collection, including the ability to search through the issues.)


Agnes at 100
   by Richard Luftig
Richard Luftig

Richard Luftig is a professor of educational psychology and special education at Miami University in Ohio. He is a recipient of the Cincinnati Post-Corbett Foundation Award for Literature and a semi-finalist for the Emily Dickinson Society Award for Poetry. His stories have appeared in numerous magazines including Bloodroot, Front Porch Review, Silkscreen Literary Review, and Pulse Literary Journal. One of his published short stories has been nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize.


When I was a girl, out of curiosity, I wanted to see what God intended for my face. More than anything, I wished to look like my mother, your great-grandmother. You may not know this, but she was beautiful.

I knew, though, that was never going to happen. "You're so plain," she told me throughout my childhood. "I don't know how you'll ever attract a man."

Yet, it turns out I'm the spitting image of her after she became old. I hope she and God both appreciate the joke.

You see, I'm 100 today, but I don't understand this fascination folks have with that. It's as if I've done something special, something talented, by living so long. And I'm expected to be wise to boot.

Well, it doesn't work that way. We're pretty much the same when we're old as when we were young. Just more so.   Continue…

And the Part of Me Will Be Played by Marilyn Monroe
   by Alice K. Boatwright
Alice K. Boatwright

Alice K. Boatwright's fiction has appeared in journals such as Mississippi Review, Marco Polo, Beloit Fiction Journal, America West, Storyglossia, and Stone Canoe. Her first book, Collateral Damage, will be published by Standing Stone Books in 2012. This is her third appearance in Amarillo Bay.

When the movie of my life is made, the part of me will be played by Marilyn Monroe. Now you may object, because Marilyn is dead, but I don't see that as a problem at all. This movie is strictly for private showing. And besides no one else has the right combination of beauty, spunk, and trouble in her face.

Johnny Depp will play my first husband, Thomas, because he's lean and dark, with crazy sexy eyes. When Thomas comes to town, Jackson—he's my husband now—just melts out of sight. Thomas pulls up in front of the house and, no matter what car he's driving, I know who it is. Like birds before a storm, children, dogs, and cats grow quiet.

Then in comes Thomas. He strides across my freshly waxed linoleum floor with his dirty boots and throws his arms around me. I put down my dishcloth and we kiss. For a few hours, we are sixteen again and very hot for each other.   Continue…

   by John Danahy
John Danahy

John Danahy resides in New Hampshire. He enjoys writing, reading, photography, and traveling with his wife, four children, and nine grandchildren. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Aim Magazine, Art Times, Desert Voices, Forge, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, The MacGuffin, North Atlantic Review, RiversEdge, Salt River Review, and The Griffin.

Although he wasn't sure why, Matt felt a mild excitement about the upcoming visit with his oldest friend, Dave, and Dave's second wife, Marilyn. While he and Dave had grown up together, Matt couldn't recall any single act or occasion that formed or cemented a bond. It seemed to him that they had less in common with every passing year, since he had gone on to college and career while Dave remained in their small Indiana hometown. Even their appearances had diverged, as Matt grew ever more slight and his wispy, sandy hair dwindled to a sole, ashen patch, while Dave grew portly with still-dark curls—aided, Matt suspected, by wiry implants.

In spite of this and for no reason he could name, Matt felt a sense of obligation and had always responded to Dave's efforts to keep their connection intact.

"How was your day?" Julie asked as Matt arrived home late Friday afternoon.

"Hectic," Matt said. "Meetings all day."

"With your new boss?"


"What's he like?"

"Let's forget about the office and just have a good time this weekend with Dave and Marilyn."

"Fine with me," Julie said, forcing a smile. "I hope you can relax."   Continue…

Farewell to Paradise Lane
   by Howard Waldman
Howard Waldman

Born in New York but long a resident in Paris, Howard Waldman taught European History for a France-based American university and later American Literature for a French University. His short stories have appeared in numerous publications. He has published four novels, all available on Amazon: Back There, Time Travail, The Seventh Candidate, and Good Americans Go to Paris When They Die.

One hundred and three days after the catastrophe in Paradise Lane—he kept insomniac wee-hour count—Paul Jacobs was driving his wife to the Carrefour supermarket when the radio announced the man's suicide.

"Good riddance" said Francine.

"If I'd known, I'd have worn black this morning," said Paul.

An hour later as he was unloading his shopping cart on the checkout belt, Francine spotted the pre-wrapped hamburger lying next to Marvels of India, her latest travel book purchase. The couple scorned hamburgers, as they did most of the century's gimmicks. She stared at the distasteful thing, then at him, tragically.

Summoning a tight smile, he restored it to the meat counter.   Continue…

Negotiating the Terms
   by Gretchen Johnson
Gretchen Johnson

Gretchen Johnson received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Texas State University in 2006. She currently lives in Beaumont, Texas, and works as an English Instructor at Lamar University. Her work has appeared in The Blue Bear Review, Poetry Harbor, Spout Press, The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, Words of Wisdom, and The Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry.

I'm alone at the café, sitting at my usual location with a stack of books to look over. A couple walks in, disappears to order coffees, and sits down at the table across from me. She looks about twenty, is wearing black leggings over a hot pink top, has dark hair with a few golden strands in the front, and is thin all over with a pleasant face. He is probably in his sixties, wears the kind of jeans that are marketed to high school guys or young adults, and sports a tight black t-shirt to accentuate the fact that he obviously works out. He's short, but his cowboy boots add a little height and bring him eye to eye with his companion.

"I've been thinking about it, and I want a cat," she says.

"If you want a cat, I'll get you a cat. No problem." She smiles. "I'm really glad we're doing this. I thought about it a lot the last couple of days, and I know we're both going to benefit." She smiles but shifts uneasily in her chair. "We talked before about you being okay with this, but I want to briefly revisit that subject. It's important for me to know that you're okay with this. Is there anything that scares you?"

"No, I'm just still getting used to everything."   Continue…

Creative Nonfiction

Echo Fever/Birmingham 1964
   by Coral Hauck
Coral Hauck

Coral Hauck is back in school after raising four children. She has gone from writing absence excuses to writing short stories—admittedly, some of those excuses were quite fanciful and inspired. She is a corporate trainer for a security company, working on a degree in Business Communications and English. She enjoys bicycling with her family and daytripping. Her dream job would be to compete on the Food Network's TV's Next Food Network Star program.

In the summer of 1964, Birmingham, Alabama, was a city that steamed and seethed under the eyes of a watchful and fearful nation. Lunch counter sit-ins became race riots became bombings. I remember watching a funeral on my parents' black and white Philco television; the funeral of three little girls who died in a church bombing. I also remember the way my father gathered me onto his lap, his chest shaking, his head buried in my hair so I couldn't see his face. I didn't understand what was happening. I was only three years old. I'm sure now that a lot of other people didn't understand it any better, either.   Continue…


A Comfortable Place
   by James E Cherry
James E Cherry

James E Cherry is the author of four books: Bending the Blues, a poetry chapbook from H&H Press (2003), Shadow of Light, a novel from London: Serpents Tail Press and Honoring the Ancestors, a collection of poetry from Third World Press and nominated for a 2009 NAACP Image Award. His collection of short fiction, Still A Man and Other Stories, was released 2011 from Aquarius Press/Willow Books. His work has been published in literary journals both nationally and internationally and anthologized in Bum Rush the Page (Crown), Beyond the Frontier (Black Classic Press), Roll Call (Third World Press) and Our Common Suffering (China). Cherry is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing from the University of Texas at El Paso. He is a member of the Tennessee Arts Commission's Artist in Education Roster and resides in Tennessee with his wife, Tammy.

Vincent Van Gogh
"Vincent's Bedroom in Arles" (1888) link to painting

At any moment, I expect you
to walk through that lilac door
after a day of painting wheatfields
under the Provençal sun, this strange place
refuge from smoke and drink.   Continue…

Works List

Useful Links

To find information about Amarillo Bay authors, other literary magazines, and Web sites that might be interesting, see our Useful Links page.

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Works by Issue

Works are published the first Monday of February, the third Monday of May, the first Monday of August, and the first Monday of November.

2012, Volume 14 Number 4, 2 November 2012 — Future Issue
Number 3, 2 August 2012 — Future Issue
Number 2, 17 May 2012 — Future Issue

Number 1, 6 February 2012 — Current Issue
2011, Volume 13 Number 4, 7 November 2011
Number 3, 1 August 2011
Number 2, 16 May 2011
Number 1, 7 February 2011
2010, Volume 12 Number 4, 1 November 2010
Number 3, 2 August 2010
Number 2, 17 May 2010
Number 1, 1 February 2010
2009, Volume 11 Number 4, 2 November 2009
Number 3, 3 August 2009
Number 2, 18 May 2009
Number 1, 2 February 2009
2008, Volume 10 Number 4, 3 November 2008
Number 4, 18 August 2008
Number 2, 19 May 2008
Number 1, 11 February 2008
2007, Volume 9 Number 4, 12 November 2007
Number 3, 6 August 2007
Number 2, 7 May 2007
Number 1, 5 February 2007
2006, Volume 8 Number 4, 6 November 2006
Number 3, 7 August 2006
Number 2, 8 May 2006
Number 1, 6 February 2006
2005, Volume 7 Number 4, 7 November 2005
Number 3, 8 August 2005
Number 2, 2 May 2005
Number 1, 7 February 2005
2004, Volume 6 Number 4, 1 October 2004
Number 3, 2 August 2004
Number 2, 3 May 2004
Number 1, 2 February 2004
2003, Volume 5 Number 4, 3 November 2003
Number 3, 4 August 2003
Number 2, 5 April 2003
Number 1, 3 February 2003
2002, Volume 4 Number 4, 4 November 2002
Number 3, 5 August, 2002
Number 2, 6 May 2002
Number 1, 4 February 2002
2001, Volume 3 Number 4, 5 November 2001
Number 3, 6 August 2001
Number 2, 7 May 2001
Number 1, 5 February 2001
2000, Volume 2 Number 4, 6 November 2000
Number 3, 7 August 2000
Number 2, 1 May 2000
Number 1, 7 February 2000
1999, Volume 1 Number 3, 1 November 1999
Number 2, 2 August 1999
Number 1, 3 May 1999