Lafayette Wattles, Jim Zola, Stefanie Freele, Louis McKee

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Lafayette Wattles A former high school teacher and graduate of Spalding University's MFA program, Lafayette once worked as a PA on a low-budget movie with Amanda Plummer and had the good fortune of playing her dead husband in a scene that was eventually scrapped (which pretty much sums up his career as an actor). His poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Foliate Oak, Chantarelle's Notebook, Underground Voices, Mannequin Envy, Thick With Conviction, and FRIGG, among others.


I Was An Extra In a So-Low-It-Was-Really-A-No-Budget Movie That Never Made It To Sundance, But, Then Again, Neither Did I


FADE IN. Fade? I suppose, if hurry up and wait equates to fading. Forty-five minutes to change

the lights for a protracted Close-Up on two hands making love to a blade as seen through a kitchen window. A seduction of steel in artificial moonlight. It’s noon for chrissakes! But the DP elects to shoot morning scenes at night and the midnight murder while the sun’s still   a white-hot sand dollar shimmering in the shallow blue lagoon of an afternoon sky. And speaking of moonlighting, the Gaffer, who’s also a swarthy underwear model when he’s not roofing houses in the heavy L.A. sun, disappears during shooting, like a moth fleeing shade, and beats his wings against the trailer door of the aspiring starlet whose main claim to fame is working with Spielberg . . . okay, playing a dead woman in Schindler’s List. She opens the door brandishing the call sheet and her half-moon breasts as if they’re auditioning for the part of twin sirens whose shared desire is to woo the entire crew. Outraged at finding the Cameraman exposing more than his lens, the Gaffer bangs closed the door and nearly nails the girl’s leg which she’d dangled like a silky lure to entice him to return in five. Back on set, the Producer and the Script Supervisor disagree over discrepancies discovered in video playback. The former claiming, “no one’s gonna notice that the knife starts in her left hand and ends in her right.” The latter replying, “The only thing they’re ‘gonna notice’ about that knife is that they can’t use it to end their suffering.” And she extends her point by alluding to another of the thirty-seven discontinuities she’s found. “You have a mugging take place in the park, just the perp and the victim. So how do nine onlookers suddenly materialize on the swing of a fist? Did they piggy-back on the punch? Here’s what you have: Mugger grabs Man. Mugger throws punch. Poof! Throng of nine beamed there by, who, Scotty? No one runs from the swings. No one emerges from the sand box. Just a Barbara Eden cross-your-heart-and-nod sort of teleportation from craft services which is where the PA found them gathered when the shot began.” “What’s a glitch or two?” the Producer asks. “The smattering of glue that holds your beginning and end together?” she says, unfolding herself from the chair, dragging the remains of common sense behind her, as we . . . CUT TO: The actor (a New Jersey native named Sandy Vanderhozen, alias Cal Reed), who plays the murdered son of a Native-American Congressman, passes out in the stifling port-a-potty, slides off the toilet, breaks his nose on the sink, while setting off three malfunctioning squibs as he hits the floor. The Second AD locates him twenty minutes later and shrieks because she thinks someone’s shot him dead. Wardrobe finds her, backside-up, half in, half out the out-house door. Twelve hours (and a few side-steps around SAG rules) later, Day Five digests in the belly of the beast. Forty-three more and post-production begins. Everyone gets misty-eyed at the wrap party, then mystified over the overwhelming response to the “film” as it’s showcased at the food court in the mall (receiving more misused wontons than applause), as if they’d just spent the past few months working out-of-body or perhaps they’d expected JC himself to do the editing. It takes a lot of hard work to make a flop, but that’s the brilliance of Hollywood. And to think, I left New York for this!



Jim Zola lives in Greensboro North Carolina with his wife and three children and two dogs and one mouse. He has published a chapbook of poems titled The One Hundred Bones of Weather (Blue Pitcher Press). He works in a library and as a toy designer for a big international company. He drinks too much and is in contant trouble with the law.




They said she would marry one

from the North. She did. But in bed,

at night, she never felt the hooves

or kissed a snout. Still, each morning
he sat in feral pinkness, sipped

his mug of mud. Was it luck

that brought the witch to her stoop,
that she took the hag’s advice

to thread a loop around his ankle

while he slept, to make him stay?
Instead, he left. The rotten cord

broke. She realized she loved the pig.

Moon, Sun, Wind all sent her packing.

Three of this and three of that.
She wore out three pair of shoes

and hauled a sack of chicken bones.

Finally finding the place

where her husband hid, she built

a bone ladder. While she climbed

each fragile rung, she must have cursed

her sisters who married Princes,

her father who prodded her into this.
Dear Reader, I have no wish

to resolve this telling.

Some say she cut her finger off
to finish the ladder top.

What matters is she married a pig.

We all make choices.



     like some monster loose

     in Your beautiful world – St. Augustine of Hippo


The martyrs meet in my dark kitchen.

Fight for stools and coffee cups.

We niggle. Who cares if the Tyburn tree

is elm or maple? Let’s concentrate

on transubstantiation, the origin

of infallibility. I put out blue

corn chips and salsa in the jar. The neon

light above the sink flickers and we stop.

Heresy the shorthaired mutt wants out.

No one moves. We bluster St. Francis

and his fever. No bliss on tap tonight.


I pray for wiggle room, an inch to worry,

and vow to give up abstinence,

the dark between my toes. What’s left? Thirty-nine

more or less. The guys discuss real presence,

the grammar of St. Polycarp’s last prayer

and if we need to meet again.

The tree was elm, the chips now crumbs.

The world waits for a reply. The dog barks.



Stefanie Freele he recent credits include American Literary Review, South Dakota Review, Literary Mama, Etchings, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Westview, Café Irreal, Permafrost, Hobart, and Contrary. she will have upcoming work in Glimmer Train, Talking River, Cezanne's Carrot, Writers Journal and in a speculative fiction anthology titled Futuristic Motherhood. she received the 2008 Kathy Fish Fellowship and am the Writer In Residence for SmokeLong Quarterly. She's completing her MFA thesis at the Whidbey Writers Workshop in Washington.


    It was ridiculous, the back pain, the platinum-white flash, the bent
at a two-o’clock position, the grunting, the shuffling, the
I’m-only-forty-one moaning. Just a Kleenex-box I picked up. Only a
squirrel I was trying to wave away from the bird feeder when the spine
twitched again causing me to collapse on one knee, land on the baby’s
bouncy chair and slap my head on the toy basket.
    An hour later they found me unconscious in a crumple. Donna, who
stopped by to co-dog-walk, heard the baby screaming and opened the
door. The same neighbor, an anti-kid woman – one who grimaced at runny
noses, picked up the baby and held him until the ambulance arrived and
until my husband showed up, grease-stained and wide-eyed.
    Even though I was out cold, I could hear everything. It was a
paramedic who suggested holding the baby to my breast. My husband told
everyone to look away while he pulled apart my robe. The taller
paramedic said, this isn’t that weird, it’s not like she’s dead. The
short one said shut the hell up buffoon.
The baby instantly quieted so everyone could think.
    I woke up and saw first only the squirrel who hung on upside down from
the birdfeeder and chattered.

Louis McKee has had poems appear in Connecticut Review, Brooklyn Review, Crab Creek Review, Pearl, Rattle, Poet Lore,Paterson Poetry Review, 5 A.M. and Rattapallax, among others RIVER ARCHITECTURE, a selected poems, was published in 1999, and a new collection of his work, NEAR OCCASIONS  OF SIN, appeared in 2006.  Adastra Press will be publishing a volume of his translations of Old Irish monastic poems any time now, and STILL LIFE, a chapbook of newer poems, is just out from FootHills.





We hardly had sex--

and I remember the lack

of cooperation from my body

when yours was most willing,

but it was the first time,

a forbidden time, and it had

been so long, and there was

the Irish thing, some drink

had been taken, but

as I recall, that didn’t

stop the words being spoken,

or the mouths they came out of,

or the hands, the bare, starved

and thirsting fingers – hardly.


I hate that word you said

to your husband when whatever

happened happened and was done,

how you assured him in fact,

it almost never was, hardly,

hardly, and it is so far away.

Left there, hardly noticeable.