Amarillo Bay 
 Volume 15 Number 1 

Amarillo Bay Contents
Volume 15 Number 1 — Published 4 February 2013

We are pleased to present the first issue of our fifteenth year, published on Monday, 4 February 2013. We hope you enjoy browsing through our extensive collection of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry! See the Works List to discover the over 600 works — about 210 works of fiction, 70 works of creative nonfiction, 320 works of poetry — in our collection, including the ability to search through the issues.


Brenda with Skin
   by Terry Dalrymple Terry Dalrymple

Terry Dalrymple grew up in the Texas Hill Country but later settled with his wife, Lorraine, in San Angelo, TX, where he teaches literature and creative writing at Angelo State University. During his thirty-plus years of teaching there, he has published three books and a number of short stories and articles in a variety of journals.

When summer began between my junior and senior year in high school, my life felt complicated. Then Mrs. Grogan stripped naked in front of me and complicated it even more.

It started with Carol Mayfield. Our freshman year, Carol, who had probably been beautiful from the day she was born, blossomed in all the right places. All the girls wanted to be her friend. All the boys just wanted her. If rumor had it right, she wanted them, too, and any guy old enough to take her on a car date received a gift from her the likes of which he'd never received before. Despite what I liked to believe about myself, I was a little naïve about and more than a little awkward around girls. Even when I got my license, I didn't dare ask her out. By early in our junior year she settled in with one guy, David Taylor, and by the end of that year everybody said they'd probably get married someday.

But during the last few weeks of the school year, Carol had been flashing me glimpses of her lovely flesh. She doled those treats out daily: a short skirt that rode up too high when she sat in the desk across from me in English, or a split skirt that fell open too far when she slipped into that desk, or a loose blouse that gapped at the top when she dropped a pen and leaned down in front of me to pick it up, or a hand gently touching my shoulder or elbow as we spoke in the hallway, or even a brush of boob against my arm as we walked toward class. On purpose, always on purpose, that was clear.   Continue…

Demons of the River
   by Alex M. Frankel Alex M. Frankel

Alex M. Frankel was born in San Francisco, attended Columbia University and lived in Barcelona for many years before finally settling in Los Angeles. He writes both poetry and fiction, and in 2006 got his MFA in Poetry from New England College. His stories, poems and reviews have appeared, or are forthcoming, in The Antioch Review, Chautauqua, The Gay and Lesbian Review, The South Carolina Review, Cider Press Review, and many other journals. His poetry chapbook, out February 2013 from Conflux Press, is called My Father's Lady, Wearing Black. He hosts the Second Sunday Poetry Series at the Majestical Roof Gallery in Pasadena. His website is

A lone boy in combat fatigues gripping a submachine gun was standing guard down by the pool. He smiled bashfully and waved up at Capdevila, but Capdevila did not wave back; instead, he pulled his head in, closed the window, and went on watching his daughter with his sad, tired eyes. She hadn't moved for two days. All she did was sit there gazing at the bay and the sky. She wouldn't accept water, and she didn't talk or sleep.

Physically, there seemed to be nothing wrong with her, although Capdevila refused to call a local doctor and make sure. He wanted to get her back to Spain—or anywhere away from this tropical hell. The Capdevilas had been about to make a move when word had come that the hotel was under military control and all guests would be confined to the premises.

He sat on the bed and tried speaking to his daughter. "Marina," he said. "We want to help you. Tell us what it is you're going through. Tell us what happened at the Falls that day. Share with us. Marina, can you hear?"

The girl's features didn't react. She was not grim or sullen. Rather she had a contented, placid look about her—and this frightened Capdevila the most.   Continue…

Hsi-wei's Letter
   by Robert Wexelblatt Robert Wexelblatt

Robert Wexelblatt is professor of humanities at Boston University's College of General Studies. He has published essays, stories, and poems in a wide variety of journals (including Amarillo Bay), two story collections, Life in the Temperate Zone and The Decline of Our Neighborhood, and a book of essays, Professors at Play; his novel, Zublinka Among Women, won the Indie Book Awards First Prize for Fiction. His most recent book is a short novel, Losses.

Note: This story is one in a cycle of tales about an imaginary 6th-century Chinese poet, Chen Hsi-wei.

In a reply to an inquiry from the Prince of Sung, Chu Juyi, one of the compilers of The Bronze Lantern, explains why, despite its fame, he chose to exclude Chen Hsi-wei's "Letter to Yang Jian" from the anthology. "This poem," he writes, "is nothing like Hsi-wei's other work. It lacks his customary tact, subtlety, and indirection. Usually, the poet fixes his eye on details of the world and lends them a patina of use and familiarity through his verse. He writes of quiet moments and ordinary things. The interminable wars going on in his youth can certainly be felt in his poems but they are fought offstage, as when he concludes a description of early spring by writing Horses stamp on the dried-out roads. / Armies begin to march. Hsi-wei's meanings are like shadows cast by mountains, trees, and those small objects he disposes with such care. The 'Letter to Yang Jian,' on the other hand, could hardly be more blunt, its purpose more obvious, its violence more brutal. Even knowing the letter is signed, I still find it difficult to believe it is the work of Chen Hsi-wei. The clue as to why the poet abandoned his accustomed manner in the 'Letter' may lie in a tale told about how he came to write it and why he circulated copies of it throughout Northern Zhou." Chu Juyi goes on to relate a remarkable, probably fanciful, story about the composition of Hsi-wei's renowned open letter to the future Emperor Wen.


The village of Kuo-ling lay on the old road between Ch'angan to the west and Shan to the east. The place was hardly large but it could boast an inn called Tong Yun, The Red Clouds. What travelers spent kept the village afloat even in hard times. Consequently, the innkeeper, a fat widower named Chung, was highly respected.

On arriving in Kuo-ling, Hsi-wei went directly to The Red Clouds and asked this Chung for his humblest accommodation. As he was addressing the innkeeper, he happened to glance into the cool shade beyond the portico. Atop a bright red sideboard he saw a painted clay statue, a smiling Buddha. Hsi-wei remarked on it.

Chung clapped his hands together. "Ah, my happy Buddha. You recognized him, yes? Three years ago a pair of monks converted me, though I'm still looking high and low for enlightenment. Those monks were making their way back from a pilgrimage to the West and, according to what they told me, the statue was made someplace beyond the T'ien mountains. The good monks, of course, had no money for lodging, nor would I have taken any. All the same, they insisted on making me a present of the statue. Would you care to look at my little Buddha more closely?   Continue…

Silver Bangles
   by Anne Goodwin Anne Goodwin

Anne Goodwin's short fiction has been published online and in print. Her short story The Good News was published by Amarillo Bay in 2009 and In The Interim in 2012. She is in the process of revising two novels: Underneath and Sugar and Snails. Her writing website is at

From tipping the restaurant waiter to scouting out the habitats of his country's most exotic plant life, the delightful Alphonse seemed content to carry all our obligations on his scraggy shoulders. At the end of an internal flight, we didn't even have to exert ourselves to pick up our suitcases from the baggage carousel. Alphonse summoned a couple of barefoot porters and pointed them in the direction of the Naturetours luggage labels and we didn't have to do a thing until we were reunited with our luggage at the next hotel.

"I could get used to this," said Ivan.

I sighed. "I know just what you mean."

Alphonse led us through the terminal building, hardly bigger than the Socks-R-Us franchise at Heathrow, to the 4x4 waiting in the shade, its engine purring. We climbed into the welcome cool of the air-conditioning: Katie and Morris together with Lou on the middle row behind the seats for driver and guide, Ivan sandwiched between me and Ray at the back. Once he'd seen us settled, Alphonse excused himself to go and attend to our permits for the park. The driver sloped off for a smoke.

Katie got out her diary. Ray opened the paperback he'd been reading on the plane. I stared out the window. There wasn't much to see here: just the breeze-block wall of the airport building and a group of teenage girls lounging on the corner, their wild edges muted by the tinted glass.

"I'll swap seats if you like," said Ivan. "You and Ray can sit together."   Continue…

Something Else Finally Happened
   by Lowell Mick White Lowell Mick White

Lowell Mick White is the author of two books, That Demon Life (Gival Press) and Long Time Ago Good (Slough Press), a story collection. He has been awarded the Dobie-Paisano Fellowship by the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Institute of Letters, and until recently he was the NEA writer-in-residence at the federal prison for women in Bryan, Texas. He is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Pittsburg State University. This is his second appearance in Amarillo Bay.

Over the weekend a kid committed suicide. He climbed to the top row of the football stadium—which is a huge stadium, it must be at least eight or ten stories tall—and jumped off on the street side, flying off to the west, falling, and smashing up dead on the sidewalk. The campus paper had a big story about it, which I didn't read, though I did hear my boyfriend talk about it. He said it would've made more sense if the guy had killed himself during football season.

Anyway, the guy died on Saturday. The newspaper story was on Monday. Then on Tuesday my first class was an English class, a writing class, and right away the teacher started talking about the suicide, as if it had just happened.

"When I was here as an undergraduate," the teacher said, "people here used to jump off the tower of the main building." She took a long drink from a cup of coffee and looked out the window. "But now there's a big fence around the observation deck up there, and you can't jump off, so I guess kids are looking for the next best thing."

The teacher, Charlotte Griffin, was a writer, a novelist, though of course I hadn't read any of her books. I never have time to read. School takes up too much time! She was very pretty, though, small and compact with streaks of natural gray though dyed auburn hair. She was from Tennessee or North Carolina or someplace back east, and had a low, slow, strong voice and a deep accent.   Continue…

Creative Nonfiction

Three Nights in a Shelter
   by Irving A. Greenfield Irving A. Greenfield

Irving A. Greenfield spent two years in the Merchant Marine and fought in the Korean War. He has published several novels, including Tagget, which was produced as a TV film. His video play, "Camp #2, Bucharest," won a NOVA for the best drama of 1998 on Community Access TV. He was one of the five nominated winners of the Yukon Pacific Play Award for his one act play, "Billy," which was produced for Public Access TV and became a successful Off Off Broadway production. His play, "Entitlement," was produced at The Studio Theater in New York, and three one-act plays were produced there in April 2004. His most recent full-length play, "What Do We Do About Walter," was produced at the American Theatre of Actors in 2003. His novels Snow Giants Dancing, Only the Dead Speak Russian, and Beyond Valor are available from Amazon on Kindle. Several of his short stories have been published in Amarillo Bay.

He was older than she was. It was clear theirs was a second marriage. She was a comely looking woman, well dressed with a mink trimmed hat. He wore jeans, a long sleeved sweater over a white shirt and a three quarter length leather coat. He was considerably taller than she, and had a full head of white hair. She was crying and showing everyone their wedding picture. He was obviously in the military when it was taken. He was in uniform and had a chest full of medals.

Exactly why she thought it necessary to show that photograph was an indication of her feelings about where they were, and about where she thought the people in the shelter were, relative to her. They were beneath her and the possibility that she might have to spend time among them had brought her to tears.

They were assigned the two beds next to my wife, Anita. The woman showed her the photograph; then showed it to me, still in tears. The man introduced himself. His name was Henry; hers was Dominique. They lived in Bell Harbor, an area in the Rockaways that was being pounded by hurricane Sandy. I didn't ask why they were in the city during the storm or how they happened to land in the shelter located in Hunter College's gymnasium. None of my business.

Anita and I are octogenarians. Neither of us wanted to be in the shelter. But we were evacuated from our building in the Battery Park area because it was considered vulnerable to both a power loss and a surge from the nearby Hudson River. What Dominique and Harry saw was a couple of hundred beds with people in them, some completely covered from head to toe with a blue emergency blanket, others sitting up and a few huddled together in conversation. But most of the people were not the kind of people that Dominique was used to; these were obviously street people, and many were black or Hispanic. They were from the lower rungs. How could she possibly sleep amongst them?   Continue…


The Fire
   by Holly Day Holly Day

Holly Day is a housewife and mother of two living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, who teaches needlepoint classes in the Minneapolis school district. Her poetry has recently appeared in Hawai'i Pacific Review, The Oxford American, and Slipstream, and she is a recent recipient of the Sam Ragan Poetry Prize from Barton College. Her book publications include Music Composition For Dummies, Guitar All-in-One For Dummies and Music Theory For Dummies, which has recently been translated into French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese.

when my house catches fire in the middle of winter
will they find my poems and blame it on me?   Continue…

I hate this feeling—
   by Eric Blanchard Eric Blanchard

Eric Blanchard grew up in Houston, Texas. He earned degrees in philosophy (B.A.) and jurisprudence (J.D.). Eric has practiced law, written appellate briefs, been editor-in-chief of an international trade law journal, and worked for a state representative in the Texas legislature.

Eric's poetry has been published in numerous literary journals and reviews, both on-line and in print, including Autumn Sky Poetry, Rust and Moth, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Pudding Magazine, and Mock Turtle Zine.

He currently resides in Dayton, Ohio with his beautiful girlfriend, her young son, three dogs, and two tiny fish.

as if I've done something wrong.
I did not make the milk jugs leak.
It's not my fault the dogs
rolled in the morning dew and
brought the dampness in.   Continue…

Information Overload
   by Allen Berry Allen Berry

Allen Berry is a PhD student pursuing a degree in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern Mississippi.

He is a 2012 Pushcart Prize nominee, and his work has appeared in Steel Toe Review, The Birmingham Arts Journal, What Remembers Us, an anthology of Alabama Poets and For Better or Worse: an Anthology about Marriage, from Poetworks Press. In 2001 he founded the Limestone Dust Poetry Festival in Huntsville Alabama, and served as its president until 2007 when he left to pursue his education in English literature and creative writing.

It's the midpoint of 11 and I missed the movie deadline and I don't quite want to go to the gym and I feel strung out somehow. I've had too much information. I've had too little food or too much of the wrong kind, some midgrade body fuel that fills the void without fueling up.

The cat sleeps, I should do the same. I should run, I should drive, I should grade these blasted papers. I should run for Congress, I should call an old friend. . . I should wait 'til morning. I've had too much information and too little exercise. . .except I had too much earlier. . . and now I have too little time to do too much work on a paper. I have too much to do and too few sources and two eyes that are flash burned from too much black on white text. I've had caffeine and a little sugar. I've slept, but not enough. I'm sleepy, but not enough. I'm handsome, but not enough. I'm old fashioned, but not enough. I'm too hip to things that aren't hip anymore. I'm roundly despised and universally adored for nothing. I'm reviled for what I am perceived to be, my perceptions are preconceived. My conceptions are imperceptible.   Continue…

To Become a Cloud
   by Carol Bell Carol Bell

After studying biology and chemistry at the University of Colorado, Carol Bell went on to a career in the pharmaceutical industry. Now retired, she can focus on her writing. She studied at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colorado, earning a degree in English and has attended the Aspen Writer's Conference and Moab Confluence Conference. She has studied with Colette Inez, Christopher Merrill, Edward Hirsch, Amy Irvine, Dr. Barry Laga, and Craig Childs. Mother of an adopted Vietnamese War orphan, she has been active in volunteer work for child and adoption related organizations.

New work has appeared or is forthcoming in Bayou, The Broome Review, California Quarterly, Cape Rock, Forge, Milk Money, Mobius, Pilgrimage Magazine, RiverSedge, and Talking River.

breath streams rivers oceans
into your lungs and out
into yellow-blue mornings
into deep rocky canyons and
into the leaves and roots of an aspen forest   Continue…

Works List

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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.

2013, Volume 15 Number 4, 4 November 2013 — Future Issue
Number 3, 5 August 2013 — Future Issue
Number 2, 20 May 2013 — Future Issue

Number 1, 4 February 2013 — Current Issue
2012, Volume 14 Number 4, 5 November 2012
Number 3, 6 August 2012
Number 2, 21 May 2012
Number 1, 6 February 2012
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