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L i t e r a r y . J u i c e

An Online Literary Magazine

Poet

Tree

Fingerprints

J. K. Durick

 

I leave them

almost everywhere –

permanent shadows,

they shadow me,

durable echoes

repeating my name,

repeating my name.

 

Every move given

a significance,

inevitable evidence

against me.

 

I make a mark,

a clumsy smudge,

forever guilty

of this and

so much else.

Appetite

Erica Lubitz

 

We stuck our bread insistently in dipping sauces

Talked of sex, the best and the worst,

Our finest, our first

Our losses.

 

The worst cast us silent like my poster of Hemingway

Hunched over and squinting

Reading ‘specs glinting

Fraught with concern

Papers crunched like our portions

So we ripped our bread into pieces

Like an old tax return.

J. K. Durick is presently a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Third Wednesday, Steam Ticket, DES Journal, and Common Ground.

October/November 2012

Ginger Beer

Carla Schwartz

 

Take a finger of ginger,

a thumb's worth

to the shredder.

Bring to a boil,

a large pot of water,

then lower to simmer,

and add in the ginger.

Let it cook for an hour.

Add some honey.

 

Chill overnight,

and the ginger will settle.

Strain the ginger mixture into a bottle.

Honey for sweet, ginger for bite,

sip it, share it, and delight.

Underneath

Mackenzie. E. Murphy

 

Underneath the surface lies

Nerf sharks and great whales.

Down down down

Ever so deep

Radiant clown fish flip their feet.

Never stopping to imagine the

Earth up above

All of them dance, swim, and are free.

They don’t know

How much more they don’t see.

The Dinner Party

Joseph Stern

 

Inside many self-fulfilling heads

The prophesy of a dinner party

Sets its own table.

 

Pubescent gremlins groom.

Middle-aged monsters in wigs wield status-stuffed cheesecakes.

Immortal banker frogs shuffle and deal the invitations.

 

Small signs begin to mark the dinner table,

Assigning seats and sides

For the food fight of secrets signs.

 

Then everyone slips into the peel of their human form,

Trips into their house, closes the door forever, and sings for food,

Winking out through the bars and webs of tact.

Maria Bonsanti was born in Southern Italy and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was five. A lifelong resident of New York, she holds a B.A. in French literature and works as a non-literary translator. She shares her one-time peaceful home with two four-footed alpha males whose interspecies affection for each other has taught her that daring to do the uncommon brings delightful results.  

Fingerprints - J. K. Durick

Appetite - Erica Lubitz

Ginger Beer - Carla Schwartz

Underneath - Mackenzie E. Murphy

The Dinner Party - Joseph Stern

The Dry Season - Maria Bonsanti

First Course in Etiquette - Mark Parsons

Bandits in the Temple of Pashupatinath - Mark Lee Webb

Joseph Stern is an American expat who was born in Quebec, attended high school in Thailand, the university in China, and has worked in many countries. He was lucky to be introduced to poetry writing in Richard Hague’s workshop and has been writing ever since. He is now developing an experimental educational system on a tropical island in China.

Erica Lubitz is a recent graduate of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She studied under the umbrella of self-examination known as 'creative arts'. Lubitz has worked editing for educational companies and as an educator. She takes the most joy in telling and retelling of cooking mishaps, dogs, conspiracy theories, barbeque, and thwarted romances. Authors Steve Almond, Aravind Adiga, and poet Olga Broumas have been endless sources of inspiration, thought, and laughter.

Carla Schwartz is a professional writer with a doctoral degree. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in several journals, including Fulcrum, 05401, Wordgathering, Stone Highway Review, Emerge Literary Journal, Enizagam, and Equinox, among others. You can like her on facebook, where you can find links to some online recordings of her work:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Carla-Schwartz/95997611519

The Dry Season

Maria Bonsanti

 

Finding romance after 50

is like picking

single sand grains

with your parched tongue

through a burka –

beige –

in Erg Chebbi

in a windstorm

as you dangle

from a stirrup

on a skittish Dromedary.

 

I fly to Marrakech on Monday.

First Course in Etiquette

Mark Parsons

 

Heads lolling above seat backs, we come to.

Squinty-eyed, blinking,

Marie and I clack across the lobby and outside

where noonday sun glares from cars parked along the street.

For the first time in our squalid lives

we know manners.

I lose my footing and stumble,

a sea breeze kicks up,

Marie’s forest green skirt whips in my face,

cool and dark.

A paltry average,

next to a giantess like Marie

I'm small,

and strangers stare at us from porticoes:

great lamps birds have nested in

swaying high above.

A child gets lost in the hem of Marie's skirt

and I guide it out,

my hand on its soft head.

Mark Parsons has had poems published in Indiana Review, CrossConnect, Curbside Splendor, Smalldoggies, Poetry Quarterly, Dead Flowers, and elsewhere. He currently lives and works in Tokyo. You can find him on facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/mark.parsons.585

Bandits in the Temple of Pashupatinath

Mark Lee Webb

 

I entered

into the somber care

of human thought.

Nothing there was.

-       Sri Chinmoy

 

Children and old beggars wait for crows

to finish eating offerings placed at ghats

carved of granite now charred black, ghats

sloping to temple waters. But the bandars –

the monkeys – don’t wait, wading the waters

 

like river bandits, snatching Bali grains

sprinkled on banana leaves, swimming

through yellow garlands of marigolds

meant for Shiva, garlands thrown into

the bend of the Bagmati at the upper

 

stream where cremations cost more,

where pyres are formed for transitions

of the lifeless, where cremains and burnt

sandalwood are swept into the river, the logs –

still smoking – collected downstream by chota

 

balakahs who sell them to chai wallahs stoking

fires for heating ginger masala, tea sold to gawkers

from Kansas who snap digital shots of beaded

sadhus holy men clothed in dhotis belted loosely

around their waists, holy men bathed in white

 

ash who take five hundred rupee for dhwaja

flags of saffron fire, paper rupee bank notes

printed with King Gyanendra’s crowned

portrait obscured by a single

red rhododendron.

Mark Lee Webb grew up in California, and he still carries memories of the Santa Monica Mountains and the hills of Agoura in his heart. His poems have appeared in many publications. A writer and photographer, he is the editor and publisher of A NARROW FELLOW Journal of Poetry and is an active participant in the Louisville-based Writer’s Workshop Project and the Columbus, Ohio-based Pudding House Poetry Salon.