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Tips from the pioneers

Mark Young

In their pristine state
even the most benign-
looking lithium-ion-
battery is based on a
predatory concept. Its
diet is composed of
elements such as salt-
bush, grass, plants; its

mires sequester large a-
mounts of atmospheric
carbon dioxide; it has
always been in a con-
stant state of flux. Tie
dying a t-shirt can be a
scary idea. Carnivory
increases the fuel load.

Beginning at the Golden Panda

Ashley Kunsa

this skin traded for fortunes
unknown   a nice cake
awaits you   the morning
after, an envelope steamed open
by disbelief   you are the only
flower of meditation
in the wilderness   a fire
that tastes like knowing   we want
to have a testimony but don’t
want the test  laps up
desire with the urgency
of fate   you are about to become
$8.95 poorer, $10.95
if you had the buffet

The Morrigan Rides

KB Ballentine

Caul of night invades the Black Valley,
 crow roams the still-warm thermals,
Gap of Dunloe stained red with stonecrop.
 Dundee masked beneath MacGillycuddy’s Reeks,
Coosaun Lough slips low, Wishing Bridge creaking,
 groaning as doves keen in the pilings.
Blackthorn spikes horizon’s fire, an owl swiveling
 its neck, eyes wide at the coming dark.

Bon Mots vs. Witticisms in Four Rounds

Mark Budman

1. Their kiss was cunning in its entirety—not a slow, amateurish smooching or a quick, pornographic slither-like darting of the tongues—but like the expertly interwoven strings of a loom produced not by an overworked laborer at a Chinese factory but by the proud hand of an American master craftsman.

2. Gaius Lucius Serpentis, his muscles ripping under their own weight, raised his gladius above his head in a mocking salute to his opponent who, being a Gaul, just mispronounced morituri te salutant in his ingrained desire to keep the Gaullic language free from the foreign influences, and now was about to be condemned to death by the vulgar Latin-speaking audience.

3. When the ship emerged from hyperspace, lieutenant commander Dated found with horror that his finger that he had picked his nose with just prior to the warp jump, now was inside the shirt of Dr. Natalia Chekhova, perhaps guided there by the forces of Smith’s law that dictates that males are attracted to females at the rate that twice exceeds the gravitational speed; but fortunately it was prevented from sliding further down not by Wilson’s law making space travel possible, but by the tightness of the good doctor’s pants.

4. Blinded by the blue rays of the planet Avatar, the craft overshot the base, clipped the top branch of the Tree of Life, was swallowed by Shmeleopterix, passed through its digestive tract, was cut from the theatrical release and left in a pile of guano waiting for the director’s version.

Notes on a Modern Cinderella

Cassandra Farrin

This version will not be as ugly as poor Berlioz who slipped on sunflower oil at the turnstile, the one who fell under the train steered by a Komsomol girl. Let’s say worse than the Grimms’ toes but not so horrendous as heads. Trains do pull into stations, but no one dies under them. Although, in a serialized novel Sanshiro circa 1900 Tokyo, even then a woman might be heard crying from the track, oh oh it will all be over soon, and this edition shall have roughly the pathos of that.

Impaction

Laton Carter

Some people state some people, but neither word is exactly what they mean. Some is a lie, because it expresses inexactitude, and people is a lie because it is a generality. The people that state some people know exactly what they are saying, but choose inexact generalities to express it.

The word impact, meaning the point of collision, no longer suffices as a noun. Engineers find themselves impacted by the living conditions they witness. They are impacted by the people in these conditions, and the people, because of their conditions, have no choice but to impact.

Dentists are not impacted like engineers. Dentists witness impaction. A wisdom tooth becomes impacted, and the dentist’s job is to extract it from impaction.

Influence is like wind — the thing itself is invisible, but its effect is free and available to the eye. Trees bend to it — people’s lives break from it.

Execution

Eric G. Wilson

Blinded and bound, I stiffen
for triggers.
Inside my eye you spread.
The horses you water by the shore.
Bullets splash my heart,
blue hooves, the waves

The Brightening Air

Eric G. Wilson

Chartreuse gown
iconic as Harlow
between songs you smoke
your bedroom flickers
my sonnet on dahlias
the hyaline dawn

Turn Around

Peter Munro

Let me repent my god and die.
Without a woman I am not.
I offered everything. It bought
me nothing. In the church of thigh

and idyll, she strips. But her sighs
betray the worship I have sought.
Let me repent my gods and die.
Without a woman I am not

nothing yet my praise seems a lie,
empty as wind in a chime, caught
briefly in sound like a blood clot
snags on what a spirit denies.
Let me repent, O Lord, and die.

Sans

Jennifer Wortman

HaShem mans a mean sea.
A name’s a seam.
A seaman’s ash: amen, shema.
Mama smashes manna.

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