Laura Rodley, Tim Mayo, David LaBounty

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Laura Rodley has a book, Rappelling Blue Light, published by Finishing Line Press. She has had a poem nominated for a Pushcart Prize by Ibbetson Street Press, and work published in anthologies Crossing Paths, 911 Peace Project, Anthology of New England Writers. More of her work can be found in Massachusetts Review, Sanctuary, The National Audubon Magazine, and Quick Fiction.  



Recipe for extending the life of an old dog


One cup Gatorade, preferably green,

as needed, one can C/D diet dog food

specially purchased from the vet,

one vitamin pill given daily,

one tablespoon Metamucil

sprinkled over her food.

20 tiny excursions outside

to attend to business, or not,

one hand on her back, 

and one under her ribs

to assist her down

3 steps, then back up, and

up one more into the house.

Four times daily, wipe her eye,

as many times as possible

knead the furry ruff on her neck,

one good washing machine

to wash all the rugs,   

and a huge prayer at night

when you go to bed,

for her passing to be peaceful and swift

if she leaves during the

night while you’re sleeping,

add for good measure,

saying good dog, good dog, good dog

for everything she does,

especially going outside, or

coming into your work room to

lie on her blanket beside you.






 If An Angel                          



If an angel could clasp

my hair, I could hold

onto you, sing to you of my

radical desire to kiss you

pink.  Never mind, my hope

sails off my boat in a dinghy,

yellow with promise,

bells dinging in the waves

that course around us- here-

my house, a rock pounded by

the sea of distance, green and

gray- your house- a rock

my dinghy cannot slide against,

her yellow plastic sides need

smooth sand or a symmetrical

dock, not your angular elbows

as you reach out to absolve us both.



Tim Mayo's poems have won two International Merit Awards from and appeared in Atlanta Review.  He has also had poems published in The Chrysalis Reader, Del Sol Review, The Equinox, 5 AM, Mannequin Envy, Poet Lore, and The Rose & Thorn, and recently one was chosen as a finalist in the 2007 War Poetry Contest.  In 2000 he was a semi-finalist in the “Discovery”/The Nation Poetry Contest and his full-length manuscript Dreaming of a Dependable Force was chosen as a finalist-runner-up of the 2007 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Contest. In 2006 he was awarded a Vermont Artist's and Writer's Grant by the Vermont Studio Center.  Lastly, his first chapbook The Loneliness of Dogs will be published in January/February 2008 by Pudding House Publications and will be previewed in the Spring 2008 Issue of Babel Fruit


The Cat’s Meow



in the early morning, just after midnight,

the cat meows from the balcony

like an operatic soprano singing

her aria to loneliness and lost love,



arise, naked as Adam in the obscure prehistory

of day, before even the coffee bean has evolved

to awaken me, and only the seeds of felinecide

can sow themselves into the furrows of my brow,



somehow, I manage to yawn out my own aria sighing

each note to the upper registers of the balcony

like the cat’s suitor, even as I continue my dreams

of the fat lady’s sweet and final lullaby.



David LaBounty lives in Michigan. His poems have appeared in several print and online journals. He is the author of two novels, The Trinity and The Perfect Revolution. His third novel, Affluenza, has just been completed.




There was a turning to God and everywhere they looked God was nowhere despite the words of comfort from the pastor and family members who all had God in their life.

The funeral came and went; a small service, a small coffin, a small tomb, a deep hole in the ground and Bill was amazed at how straight the sides of the hole were, perfectly rectangular like a layered cake of grass and sod, of dirt and clay. God's name was uttered at the service, as the tomb was lowered into the ground and it was five thousand dollars on Visa and Discover for everything and God didn't help them with any of that and Dianne didn't feel like crying even though she  knew she should and she could feel all of the other crying eyes staring at her; why wasn't she crying?

Because she felt like a blank piece of paper, like poured milk in a clear glass, like the still air on a hot and dry afternoon. She felt like nothing and the nothingness bothered her more than anything else because even stoic Bill was crying and had been crying for the past week and she had done nothing; she hadn't eaten, she hadn't slept.

They went home after the funeral and back to the rest of their lives. Bill had to go back to work on Monday and was expected back because the employee handbook said the maximum allowable time off for a death in the family was four days and Bill took five and he didn't know how a company could put a time limit on grief especially when the death was of your own child, your seven year old flesh and blood made in your image just as you are made in God's own image and there were no signs of God as he went back to the office Monday morning even though there were words of condolence underneath the fluorescent lighting and around the coffee pot and fax machine and he went through the motions of living because he had nothing else to do and like Dianne he started to feel like nothing also, like the black hole in the ground before his son was dropped into it and then back filled again.

At home he and Dianne didn't talk, they sat in front of the television and ate pizza right out of the box and neither could acknowledge the silence in the house and the silence in their hearts and several weeks went that way before either one could talk about the blame and he blamed her because of the food she fed the family and their child, so much toxic crap in takeout bags and frozen boxes and she blamed him because cancer seemed to run in his family and so it went until he started to sleep on the couch and she went in the bedroom and he heard her moan herself to sleep each night except he wasn't sure if the moans were agony or ecstasy.

And so it went.

He slept on the couch each night and it started to sag and become stained with his nocturnal sweat and Dianne moaned every night and the moans remained a mystery until he was woken up at two early one morning when her moans were especially fierce and he walked up the stairs and silently opened the door to their bedroom and the TV was flickering pay-per-view pornography, a kaleidoscope of flesh and fluid and agony and ecstasy and Dianne was naked on top of the sheets fingering herself with viciousness and it was so out of character because their lovemaking since the birth of their son had been missionary-lights-off and there was Dianne with one hand in her vagina and the other pinching a nipple and Bill was titillated and disgusted but thankful that the silence would soon be broken completely.