Rich Furman, Steve Potter, Joanne Merriam, Janice Lee, Pat Daneman

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Rich Furman is an associate professor of social work at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. His poetry has been published in Hawaii Review, Red Rock Review, Sierra Nevada Review, Free Lunch, and many others. He has published a workbook on group practice and over fifty academic articles. He currently coordinates the social work undergraduate program. Snorting Dog Press published two of his chapbooks, of only average intent, 2002 and Gleaming and Faded, 2003. He also has an e-book on the Internet Poet’s Cooperative website. 




            After Dean Young


The small-plot kale farmer     grain elevator operator,

sprawled upon the oleaginous, plastic bar      his wife,

stroking his boss in the back of their Aerostar minivan


is not blurry enough in the square photo pulsating between his fingers,

and the hundred pounds monogramming his middle

not made from organic red-leaf lettuce.


He cries on Mondays and Saturdays

and on Tuesdays and Sundays?

He practices licking the tailpipe of the van.


Dean Young     you taught us that the world is goofy and terrible,

and we believed you      but this man here,

drunk on Jim Beam and forlorn      mumbles,


why do we spend so much on saving the whales

when people are dying. Oh Dean,

today you are only 60% sage      your body split


just off center      gum torn in two by a generous six year old girl,

or those Iranian Siamese twins      separated by surgeons,

they bled like beets on a Caucasian counter-top.


They are dead.

The farmhand stutters,

the wind, the stillness of death,


the sicknesses of the soul.

And what of my mouth      that useless drunkard fly

drowning in molasses      crooked and silent,


or my ears like petty thieves in French films,

my words are turncoats      rotting arugula,

my love a wrought-ironed gate with spikes.


And July? My Cape Canaveral,

ready on the launch-pad       pogo-stick between my legs.

My hands find the knobs of his disconsolate, baffled shoulder.


Steve Potter has had work appear recently in Arson, Art Access, Drunken Boat, Knock, Midnight Mind, Poets West, Runes, Stringtown, 3rd Bed, and is forthcoming in California Quarterly, Freefall and online at  Pindeldyboz. he is currently editing issue one of a new arts and literary mag, The
Wandering Hermit Review, which will debut in September.

Blind Mary & Twitchy McFiddles

Twitchy McFiddles slouching along the avenue.

“Scatter the crows scatter the crows!”

Flaps his arms. They’re pigeons, the birds strutting and pecking at bits on
the sidewalk, but Twitchy calls ‘em crows, calls all bird’s crows.

Blind Mary keeps an eye on him. Shouts out his name when she wants it.

“Twitchy! Twitchy McFiddles! My eye, my eye!”

McFiddles ambles over, digs deep into a pocket of his filthy coat, fishes it
up and holds it out in his trembling palm.

“Here ya go Mary, here ya go.  Round as the day ya gave ‘er me.”

Mary fondles her eye, smiles, pops it into her toothless mouth.

Joanne Merriam is Canadian writer living in Tennessee. Her work recently appeared in The Fiddlehead, Southern Gothic and Room of One's Own. Her poetry collection, The Glaze from Breaking (Stride, 2005), is available in the UK and online.


Bending over
to pick up that one
fallen sock,
shoveling quarters
into the chrome of the machine,
you're the groan
that escapes us all.
You're the overgrown weeds
shoving aside the asphalt.

Rattling your key
in the deadbolt lock, shoving
the mail aside with one foot,
whenever you come home
you're not alone,
even if you're alone.

Muffler Men and Uniroyal Girls

His strange hand positions:
right up left down, made for an axe.
His jaw always described as lantern.
The gleam of his sloping hairline.

Her bikini and optional clothes.
Her Jackie Kennedy 'do.
Her hip swayed a little to the left.

You imagine the Muffler Man
whispers at night: how about
you come over here and keep a man warm,
as across the highway she's
silently always waving, always silently smiling,
and boy that's got to get to a girl, you figure,

and you can't help thinking they're thinking,
that trapped behind those fibreglass eyes,
there's got to be somebody
who loves chrome and girly mudflaps and
the bewitching smell of gas
and you wait for them to move or scream.

Janice Lee is a student of Literature/Writing at the University of California in San Diego.  She is also studying Film and Biological Anthropology.  With 2 peers, She helped to found and now edit an experimental literature magazine called Pulp. She directed a low-budget feature-length student film funded by the university. She recently won the Saier Award for Fiction.





The ability to imagine is the first key the second key the third key the last key to see that there is something a little crooked in the line that is not straight and weighed down on one side or the other, the scale slightly tipped or more than slightly tipped and every scale is like this every page of leafy rhythm that has now broken synchronous beat beat and one more beat and imagine now the man and woman and the tree and the snake and imagine now the man with the tie and the flag and missile and imagine now the man with the oversized penis because size does matter and imagine now the girl who is now whole not just a half or two slits but a whole and imagine that little girl fall into sleep and then wake to find a giant tree in the doorway because she has fallen, no she has crashed head on with a tree and she has been detoured from every other path and every possible one and now directed into side streets where even ghosts are phantom and she can only navigate through bruises that are only soft spots on the apple the apple the apple, and what if all the people were still naked would the shock of bare flesh be as much as a paper cut and would they be born again or would they find leaves to cover and cover and cover up as much as they could cover up, because words are never enough and are simple enough sometimes to shed off simply like dandruff on a shoulder and are complicated sometimes that they glow like ripe oranges in a pair of hands but their hands are dirty and dirty and from raking all the dead leaves and the black suits and the white lab coats come always to try and chop down that tree but there are thick thick roots. there are the birds who swoop down gracefully and then invade the branches of the red trees who are trees but now are red trees. angry mouths. flat photos. action. white flash. dead time. map. highway turning. shore patrol. and that useless row of teeth.


Pat Daneman has published fiction in The Indiana Review, poetry in Midwest Quarterly, Spoon River Review, Poem, The Comstock Review, Potpourri and other small journals.  She works as a writer and manager in Kansas City.


Fog, Crescent Lake

Here he is in a public place, Tuesday morning turning into afternoon. Lucky that the waitress doesn’t care how much coffee he drinks waiting for this fog to burn away. Yes, he needs some more cream. Yes, the fog today is something else.

Watch this cup of coffee cool. Follow the shadow of thumb, nose—flock of woodpeckers, blue crests like bonnets.  What is that pounding? Are the dwarves running loose again or is it inside me?

Here in the mountains fog can linger like gossip. It leaves a rich taste in your mouth, buttons itself over your brain, keeps you cozy inside your own head.




That morning I had information that she did not have. No big deal for her, it had always been that way between us and we’d made it work. She was happy but not especially surprised when I opened the refrigerator and spread food across the floor, a banquet—chicken left from last week’s barbecue, cheese (this was where I hid the pill), dish of mushroom marinara, bean burrito. I took her outside into the grass, farther than she had walked in many weeks. I combed the snags out of her fur. She rolled onto her back to make me scratch her belly. By the time the vet arrived she was asleep. She shuddered when the needle touched her. And she fought for that last breath. Fought hard.