Dec 1, 2008

Issue Twenty Four
Editor's Note:

Welcome to Issue Twenty Four of CSR! By now, you regular readers know my baby likes magician crayons and hates soft boiled eggs. It craves spigots in its canteen and makes cute little sounds when red-nose reindeers bark. Baby has an uncanny ability to turn the words of poets into a gondola with canal water in a song. Issue Twenty Four is no exception. This month is filled with self-hypnotized photographs, along with muse-making art. Add to that, a group of stunning poets, an intriguing music maker and one magical book review and you've got the possibility of a festive corrugated fence. Trust me, when you finish this issue you'll feel like shiny Christmas ornaments. Or he counted tin soldiers in a row. Either way, this issue will hijack your interest with delights seldom found in satellite communities. So forget about your unsightly liposuction scares and get busy...
CSR: Issue 24 Contributors/Contents

Emily Lloyd

Mark Kanak

Ofelia Hunt

Paal Bentdal

Nick Bruno

Eddie Kilowatt

Kirsten Kaschook

About Art - Synergy

Debbie T. Davies

Book Review

About Music - Jeanie Bryson

Stephen Ellis

Rochelle Ratner
Emily Lloyd

— after Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins

She is the secret of my old clock, the clue
of my tapping heels, my Bombay boomerang,
the voice in my suitcase, my unfinished house;
she is the riddle of my double ring.

You are the message in the hollow oak,
my whispered watchword, the password to Larkspur Lane,
the search for the glowing hand, my ghost of a chance;
you are what happened at midnight, the tricks of the trade.

I am the mark on the mirror, the spirit of Fog
Island, the clue in the diary, the crumbling wall,
the patchwork quilt, the pledge of the twin knights;
I am the wailing octopus, end of the trail—

all of us in a great city, in Echo Valley,
at the county fair, on a camel adventure, in Lakeport,
keeping house, at Candy Castle, in Eskimo Land,
at the ice carnival, on the ranch, at Lighthouse Point.

Lamb Curry

This is what I want from prayer: to be left
streaming spices

runneled with sweat, force
glittering in my bowels

the need to chew fennel
after, the need to drink water

as no one’s face appears
in the inscrutable nan

Diet Coke with Lime: "Guess What it Tastes Like"
I guess it tastes like petals on a wet, black bough
I guess it tastes like the farmer's daughter
just after she's milked the cow
I guess it tastes like whatever she'll allow

I guess it tastes like the uncut hair of graves
I guess it tastes like getting your test back
and learning you don't have AIDS
I guess it tastes like the mome raths as they outgrabe

I guess it tastes like blackberry, blackberry, blackberry
I guess it tastes like riding back and forth
all night on the ferry
I guess it tastes like Diet Coke with Cherry

I guess it tastes like world enough and time
I guess it tastes like the night
of cloudless climes
I guess it tastes like nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless

-all poems previously published in Three Candles

Jane Eyre, Unbanned
—upon hearing of a bill to ban books with gay characters
in Alabama libraries

You think of Mr. Rochester, mad wives
in attics, Jane herself, as plain as flan.
You don’t remember Helen Burns, Jane’s friend
from school. Reader, I married her. I pressed
my eighth-grade self between those pages like
a flower, left for later hands. Helen.
"I like to have you near me," she would cough,
romantically consumptive, after Jane
snuck to her sick-bed. "Are you warm, darling?"
We’ll always find ourselves inside the book,
no matter what the book, no matter how
little we’re given. I was twelve; gay meant
nothing to me. I only knew I’d go
to Lowood Institution, rise at dawn,
bare knuckles to the switch, choke down the gruel,
pray to the bell, if this meant I could hold
another girl all night, if I could clasp—
this even if she died there while I slept,
this even if I died there in my sleep.

-previously published in Camp Rehoboth

Names That Could Possibly Pass As Cries Of Passion If
Accidentally Yelled during Sex With Anyone Not So Named







Ja Rule


-previously published in McSweeney’s List

Things I Haven’t Felt

Different, after losing my virginity.
Better, after the medicine I took.
Mosquitoes on my skin, before they’ve bitten me.
Profoundly changed, after I read that book.
The call of the wild. The glow of pregnancy.
Guilty, after sleeping with someone’s wife.
High as a kite, high even as a tree.
The peace that passeth understanding. Safe.
God’s presence in the world, and that of the boy
who thought I was his mother at the mall.
How long had he walked beside me without my noticing?
How long had I inadvertently hidden my face?

-previously published in The Paumanok Review
Mark Kanak


From the waisted department we
heard word of 357 beats a minute
and thawed electricity
at the gate; of flickering oedipus
and ensilage cutters to free
our entangled performers;
of detonation limits and lights on
the audience [flown in from Poland]
in order to obtain an
orderly catharsis.
What we had instead, though,
was rhythmic shoulder shrugging,
visual ebonite [hard rubber, to you and me]
and a whole lot of shearing machines.

support bearing

in retrospect,
one of the four curators
a willing sitter of quiet here-you-gos
sees lining in the bushing collar,
dams his cellular core wall
at the ostbahnhof and
thanks god for the 10000 visitors.
such openness and tension
can only prove a plate of the crankcase
to setting ring types like
you and me.

just appeared—
the waiting time shortened,
and summer coming too—
prismatic breech
modes of operating,
and controlled device hotspots
of propagation,
of resonance.

derating curves

beam swinging
the collar with an ‘o-fer’
grid applied

muff of focus
loss of impression, harde
ning zone
keyway die Keilnut!

tradis tinction gunshots,
throwing power,


Red cedar’s giving twigs
faint bands of stomata
awl-shaped and twice as long;

red cedar, whose terminal
shoots sometimes droop
but are always quite fine
near banging blinds
and always whorled
in threes.

Four at window and plate
nearby, the poplar genome just unraveled
as it was, a gegenwelt of
possibility and



butterfly lint doctor
booths and empty
finger paints

slugs and snails eine entschwefelung,
picked clean sogar

left on table
in cup

left behind
dea / rly

broken frequency,
elongation, too,
and cross-sectional area
where she
met he [stoßweise,
and he gefährdet!]
to distance
before her

-all poems previously published at Cricket Online Review
Ofelia Hunt


Please taser me I want very much to be tasered I'm bored
And the cereal's somewhere it's March
I have a question
Will you please taser me? I like electrodes
Am hot for electrodes
And would fuck electrodes on digital-video for the internet
I'm probably kidding I wouldn't assault
Forty-thousand beta-fish for
Even one-million dollars
Or spread myself across ten oceans
Until you taser me or double-taser me
With one-million electrodes on my forehead
Or inside me and all the electrodes
Inside me there are two-million electrodes
And you're holding them there tightly
Triggering the electrodes in my stomach
My spleen my lungs which are quivering
Widely for them and the taser
Which is so so beautiful
And I'm thinking of tasers in helmets riding horses
And rows of tasers and ten-billion electrodes
Attached to me inside and out
You're triggering them I'm happy

I’m probably a saint or something

'Shootout in downtown Seattle' I think
I don't mean it and I feel guilty later
Which is what I tell my daughter in ten years
After I abandon my career
As bank-robber
Which was saint-ly or something I think
Because to have money
Is better
So I train my daughter to rob banks
And the FBI agent agrees
When he reads my email correspondence
On Sundays or late at night
At Denny's with Rock Hudson
And Leonardo DiCaprio
Who we all love so much
Because we love and love
And there are so many people to love
That I watch TV for ten hours
It's not evil or anything
To take steroids or human growth
Hormone because it makes me a better
Writer a better person a better house
Wife for the thirty-million men
Who love me at nine pm
So let's just murder everything
For hours extraordinarily with
Blood and knives and milk

Tongue in our stomachs

'Is there carbon-monoxide in this room'
I say and the health-inspector
Licks my grill
Until the grill slowly removes his tongue
And places the tongue on the tile-floor'
Talk to me' the tongue says
So I put the tongue in my pocket
Drive my tractor to Portland
And give the tongue to Madison'
Stop my body' the tongue says'
It's eating itself'
I chop the tongue in half
And in half again
And there are four tongues
And the four tongues simultaneously
Tell us about bureaucrats
Or meaninglessness or something
But Madison and me are too busy to listen
And we eat the tongues
And the tongues are in our stomachs
Talking to our stomachs
Until our stomachs eat our stomachs

The little ant-people

My bathroom wants only to
Kill me today
With the blue shower-curtain
Or the tap-water
Which slowly leaks from the tap
Crawls through my nostrils and crawls
Through my brain
Through my eyeballs into my lungs
Which are connected by rubber-tubes
And separated on the tile floor
My lungs in this corner
Eyeballs hanging from shower-head
Brain on the toilet-seat
And the little ant-people
Swarm and feed
Until feeding bores them

Hugh Laurie eats dead children

In my art-brute short-film
I slowly comb the fine hairs
Of the mutant-plastic alien-mannequins
We stole together
From the X-files soundstage
You're more beautiful than antelopes
Or buzzed-naked puppies
Why did we dissect
All the family poodles
You filmed your trip to Target
And put it on a commercial
During the local news-report
Which became pet-food murder-porn
Before the political-debate
With mental-telepathy
And starving shrimp-cocktail ice-sculptures

-poems gathered from her blog, Elephant Seals Negate The Tactile Universe
Photography by Paal Bentdal

Nick Bruno

Place du Canada

What might this town square have looked like
in another era -- when this bench was not here;
its green slats supporting the weight of a culture
that we tried to bring with us, when we docked
at Pier 21, but could not fit in our suitcases
without handles. Now I sit in the mapled shade
and consider. Where would we have put it?
The plaque below the statuary is a reminder
that the Fathers of Confederation had fought
for the sole possession of this land. When
Montreal fell during a revolutionary war,
Quebec's allegiances were for the taking,
but would not become another Cajun state -
the francophone roots showing through
the bleached bones of an English presence.
Our flag flutters above the tips of trees,
the red and white -- minus the blue.

-previously published in Adirondack Review


I recognize the scar at the corner
of his right eye and recall how my foot
hit the spokes on the front wheel of his Pegoretti
catapulted him onto an asphalt surface,
his broken glasses slicing into a younger skin.

Nothing else reminds me of the late
afternoons spent in his garage playing
with a model racecar circuit built
from pressed wood and plaster of Paris:
hills and faux forests surrounding its pit stops.

His flaxen hair, all but gone, I catch
his silhouette against the light
of a vestibule lamp. The filaments
of hair forming an aura about his head.
His left eye is hardly blinking. An asymmetrical

smile: the mouth’s left corner sags
below the right. The left arm useless,
no longer able to fashion or stroke
the classical guitars he has called his own.
Behind him Segovia’s strumming of Villa-Lobos.

-previously published in Valparaiso Poetry Review


He stepped past the police cordon,
put on the mandatory surgical gloves,
pulled out his notepad and pen
and considered why,
they had asked a poet
to visit the scene of a crime.

The force of the explosion had strewn
about human parts. The cadaver's pride
was on the commode. His vanity
hung by the mirror. The libido sat
exposed on the loveseat. Gobbets of guilt,
were hidden in denial behind the door.

But most telling, his stupidity
was splattered on the wall
behind the writing desk in particles
of dura mater and blood. And there
in front of the corpse was the culprit:
a journal of love poems in the victim's handwriting.

-poem first published in The Journal Poor Mojo Almanac

Old Keyboards

My daughter likes to tie old keyboards
to my chair, as though to tether
the words to their source. They orbit
my sphere where tropes unite.
The cables interconnect my thoughts
to the hub from which she suspects all
must emanate and that I am the harbinger
of the - Truth is - she is my compass.


Time meanders the nightscape
and picks off dreams as he whistles
an inexorable tune. He stares at me,
smokes cigarillos, kicks feet up
on an ottoman and smirks.
I look down to see my splayed and broken
feet embedded in the hardwood floors.
They bleed onto the surface, that absorbs
the crimson. My guest shakes his head,
gets up with a creak and resumes his song.

-both poems previously published in Unlikely Stories
Eddie Kilowatt


there are still
foundations of trusses
decaying and weathered.
the mangled skeleton
of a steel framework familiar,
twisting downward,
laying alongside a
river running restless.
trees and moss have taken root
encircling the rust
that used to link two islands.
is it still a bridge
when all you can see is the gorge between?
I’ve been looking across this ravine
for centuries standing still
and all I can see
is myself on the other side.

Keg Stands With Arthur

Reading Rimbaud
- that guy must have been fun at parties -
I wonder if he’d lead all the culture experts
or if he’d deplore them
leaning against countertops in the kitchen
debating music and books and movies
a glass of dry wine feeding a foamed mouth
the cigarette smoke expelled with force
to accentuate statements found preposterous

Tell me, Arthur
were you talking
to all the ladies, not yet shaving
using your broad vocabulary
to wet the bloomers beneath those skirts,
I don’t know, maybe not,
they say women weren’t exactly your cup of golden lilies

something tells me, Art,
if I know you like I think I do,
you were the guy in the corner
getting as drunk as possible
on all the free booze that was
never quite good enough for you
berating everyone in your head
dreading someone sitting next to you,
counting the moments until finally
insulting someone and
storming out the door into the street
cursing to the night’s closed lips
grabbing for a cigarette no matches found until I
handed you one and smiled.

Punk Rock Rummage

it was all there
The Clash Combat Rock vinyl
Operation Ivy on cd
The Anarchist’s Cookbook
A Clockwork Orange paperback
the leather jacket long gone
and a For Sale sign
on a rusting Yamaha 2-stroke motorcycle.

he was milling around
listless, speaking soft when he did
saying silent goodbyes
to friends he’d never again visit.

his wife,
or whoever she was,
glad to be making some money
off so much worthless crap,
wishing she could just as easily
take a marker and masking tape
and write 25 cents

on all those fading tattoos

-all three poems previously published at Eddie Kilowatt words

Greg’s Therapy

I worked with Greg
in the computer department
at a national retail chain.
We'd drive all over the country
fixing computer problems
at various store locations

The first time we traveled
I asked what music he liked.
He said he didn't really like music.

That struck me as strange,
someone with no need
for the whole of music

I sat in the car listening to him breathe.
Greg had burnt his sinuses
while working as a fry cook
and snored while awake.

Greg lived with his mom
and when she died
he had new windows installed
and re-shingled the roof

He once mentioned he'd done celibacy
"real well"

At the end of a traveling day
we'd drive to the hotel
and he'd talk about his "therapy"
before going to sleep.
Greg's therapy was making data cable splitters
for all the new store locations.

after too many times
of walking into the computer room
and Greg's ass bulging from under a desk, I said,
"Jesus Christ Greg would you get a belt."

Greg turned to look at me
puzzled and hurt, and sat there
breathing at me.
"I haven't had time."

That's how I remember Greg.
A guy who couldn't dress himself
to live for a department store.

Once A Year

I see him
outside of a coffee shop
and he's
excited to be off parole
or just got off parole
and he's going somewhere else
to make money,
there's no work around here, he'll get
A Union Job,
a guy he knows...

and he'll come back
with all his money saved
get a lawyer to
arrange custody
he never sees his kid,
that woman hates him
her whole family hates him, it's
real bad but it's
not his fault he just
tells them like it is. Then,
a handshake to luck and
away we go
Kirsten Kashock


O skin. Inside you my bags
and rivers find language. If ever
I wished rid of your grammar—
if ever I wished flay (strung
over white laundry in sinew
and that opulent crimson-going-black
beneath jeweled buzz, only gray tail
furred still, a stole at wrong end amidst
such incoherent caterwaul there was no
determining end) I was wrong
to wish it. Although you stutter
you spit more than before and fit
me ill—I listen like a fish through purple
under-eye sleeplessness and know
if soul then soul is not pools, is
the scratch and brush the near-static of
your seven-day renewal. You alter
but refuse to clear scar. Even
as you double over, retract within me
vocals of aureole, of freckle, mole
and the worm-slash up my ankle-back
-calf where I gave unnatural
loud birth to a slippery achilles, newly
twinned, eel-shredded, I accept you
unbook are my best record and home.

love poem

This is a love poem for the person
for whom lying every
night beside me
means somehow we're beyond flutter
Another person's poems
when he's in the bathroom I used to
bring back something inside me

Devastated is a word the other
person, the poet, would laugh at
to cure me but here is my o
here is my love who thinks love
should get quickly past
the knees. That to leave flutter
takes less than ten years

The Cellini Venus

a forgery is
something worthy of making
love to

small is in this case
exquisite in other
cases small

the system of
protection springing
from the object

is what is exhibited
the worth of a love
story inheres

to how much lying
is done by whom for
what intent

she was my favorite
he is everyone's
guilty replacement

there is naked

feel driving without
glasses in the just post-dusk
the world observed

is altered and hurting
the lights we live by don't
belong along that wood

there is this

naked feel too
: being naked under
a ceiling

fan post-coitus or
because you were tired
too tired to dress

-all poems gathered from her blog, Negative Wingspan
About Art - Synergy

Synergy is an outdoor structure consisting of two free-standing columns adorned with swirling banners and ribbon-like forms are installed on either side of the 18th Street driveway to Museum Towers. Each sculpture rests on its own circular concrete base. Each structure is approx. 20 ft. x 17 ft. 6 in. x 7 ft.; Bases: each approx. H. 2 ft. It was intended to be a ceremonial archway when it was built in 1987 by sculptor the American sculptor Albert Paley.

The sculpture was initiated by the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia. The inscription on a nearby plaque reads: SYNERGY/A WORK BY ALBERT PALEY STUDIOS/ROCHESTER, NY/DEDICATED, NOVEMBER 6, 1987/MUSEUM TOWERS/1801 BUTTONWOOD STREET/PHILADELPHIA, PA 19130/THIS WORK WAS CARRIED OUT IN COOPERATION WITH THE REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA ONE PERCENT FINE ARTS PROGRAM/AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA. IAS files contain an excerpt from Penny Balkin Bach's "Public Art in Philadelphia," Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992, pg. 256.

Albert Paley is a modernist American metal sculptor. He who was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1944. He earned both a BFA and an MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. Paley initially worked in New York City as an art jeweler, but moved to Rochester, New York in 1969 to teach at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where he now holds an endowed chair. Paley's work is celebrated around the world. He has been heralded for his inventive approach to form development and metal technique, and has received numerous corporate and civic commissions.

Paley designed "Animals Always," his first representational work, a sculpture located at the southeast corner of the world-renowned St. Louis Zoological Park. Find out more about him and his work at
Artwork by Debbie T. Davies

About Books:

Title: Honorary Astronaut
Author: Nate Pritts

Description: "With intense energy, vivacity of mind, and deft thought, Nate Pritts whips metaphor into the heady meringue of being so he can jump out of his own lemony birthday pie and make a romantically existential wish over all our secret monologues. Honorary Astronaut is not only vastly entertaining but so humanly important you’ve already received your invitation. Come as you are." —Jack Myers

Product Details:

Printed: 80 pages, 9x5.9 inches
ISBN: 0981652514
Copyright: 2008
Language: English
Country: USA
Publisher’s Link:
About Music - Jeanie Bryson

Sultry, soulful, hypnotic, rare---there is no shortage of adjectives to describe Jeanie Bryson, whose extraordinary singing voice is at once reminiscent of Billie Holiday and Peggy Lee, and uniquely modern, original and inviting.

It is her unerring sense of swing that most defines Jeanie's style. Hardly surprising given her musical pedigree; she's the daughter of legendary jazz great Dizzy Gillespie and gifted songwriter Connie Bryson. Learning from her mother how a song is crafted, Jeanie acquired a strong sense of lyricism and storytelling that she brings to her music. Her enthusiasm for performance and the sense of joy that it brings to both performer and audience bespeak the many nights she spent in the company of her father and his band, taking it all in both off stage and on.

Having performed and travelled extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Far East, Jeanie has received international acclaim. Along with being a guest vocalist on several outstanding recordings over the years, Jeanie has five solo recordings to her credit: "Deja Blue", on Koch Jazz, and “I Love Being Here With You", "Tonight I Need You So", and "Some Cats Know", all on the Telarc Jazz label, and "Live at the Warsaw Jazz Festival 1991", an import from Germany.

In 1994, Terence Blanchard's recorded In My Solitude: The Billie Holiday Songbook, for Columbia, with vocalist Jeanie Bryson. Bryson sings "Nice Work If You Can Get It", "What A Little Moonlight Can Do", "Fine And Mellow", and "Strange Fruit", a smooth, relaxed CD unhurried at its best. Jeanie Bryson 2001 CD Deja Blue gently cradles you with her velvet voice. Bryson is sweet, laid-back, and melodic. Deja Blue is a sultry ballad with an excellent solo by Steve Nelson on vibes. Jeanie's newest project - "The Dizzy Gillespie Songbook", a loving and fitting tribute that celebrates her father's life, his music, and above all, his legacy. Jeanie directs her attention to her father's music as only a daughter can - CON ALMA - with soul. Listen to her music at
Stephen Ellis


The crystal, the rock, the stone-
Faced brutality of each purgatorial
Mountain upward climb toward
Some visage of eternity, the Sun,
Moon, Stars, or beneath one's feet
The simple breeding dirt infects
The day, completely surrounding
All we imagine it to be, frozen
In place, through language, it never
Moves, as in Dante, to be in a
Circle in Paradise or Hell is about
The same, because you can never
Leave it, first things being first, for
Love to follow, one has first to leave
A furrow that a plow creates
Into which it can fold, undetected,
As an airborne seed undoing itself,
To the ruin of all theory, the flesh
Of a dog erupting somewhere in France


I have a co-dependant relationship
with my own body
(but, wait, I am"
my own body"

and thus, the hopeless

of this single thing

Forbidden Love
for Angel

But it's all forbidden, the fear of edge
Upon edge upon edge of skins, their
Forms and features, all in touch,
Combined and recombined, whose heat
May cause the psyche to lose itself
In indiscriminate illumination, so it is
Thought, not that to be felt is then to be
Believed, but there is at base a belief
That a certain causal something will
Remain, after the hair flies, after the dew
Is drawn up into the morning air, intellect
Gone clear, and senses hung out to dry,
That life causes Death, that to live
Intensely is to bring it on, although we
Know otherwise, via Eros, that no
Straight lines can lead anywhere but
Away from the tangle any of us is,
Caught in the curvature of it all

One Song Orphews Forgot
for, and with, Stephen Heller

The standing frenzy
at the bar
erects a nameless

to have had
its entire length
even unto death, O

that false song
unsung again

you hero, riverless

In Counterpoint Our Nature’s Wit Immures
for Kibbe

Like salt in water, love can hide only 'til one tastes
Its flow, my being plunged thus through this bright
Invisibility, thrown up from sea's whirlpool, from whence
A star is born from nature's depth, onto the freshened tip of
My tongue, articulating your name, a form of illumination,
Moonlight at my lips whispering in the limbs of a growing
Tree, the limber wood of our own bodies, matrix of
Our embrace, toward hope the tree will yield all the wood
Required to build your throne, mine, our common bed
And table, and the unfolding house that will enclose it all
Along with us rooted one to the other, in each other, for
Each other, as the single growing tree through which
We wear our mutual verdure as a crown, thus to know
Love as constant miracle, how a tree does grow from water
And like the language that clothes the distance between us
With marvels of sunlight, moonlight, starlight, and their air
Drapes in the hanging limbs of heaven - hearts, minds and
limbs entwining - two souls each to the flowering of one care

-all poems gathered from his blog, Theater Of Eternal Recurrence
Rochelle Ratner

California Inmate Seeks Release Of Stuffed Dog

The kid left Freckles on the back seat again. She saw
it as she got in, but she was not about to stop and go
back inside. Let her cry her eyes out not having him
to sleep with tonight, that's the babysitter's problem,
not hers. And damn it that kid has got to learn her
lesson. At three or four leaving him in the car was one
thing, but she's seven. Seven going on seventeen, if
you watch that kid preen when there are boys around.
Then she walked into The Iron Horse and of course
George was there, practically avoiding her. How you
can live with someone for six months and then pretend
they don't exist is beyond her. So anyway she had a
few beers and two glasses of Scotch this weirdo bought
her, then left early, thinking she'll head for another bar,
somewhere further out of town. That's when the cops
pulled her over.


She's been putting the colonoscopy off for three years,
giving one excuse after another. Fasting's not the issue.
Enemas aren't the issue. It's the anesthesia. No, not
even the anesthesia, the I.V. Years ago, they were willing
to just give her a valium and tell her not to move. The
doctor himself called her crazy, but she even enjoyed
watching the little black and green monitor. Then he said
he'd do the test without the anesthesia but not without
the I.V. Something might go wrong. Almost by chance she
found another place that used this new anesthesia that put
her completely out almost the second it pricked her and
let her wake up feeling almost refreshed. Still, she waited,
trying to stall the next test. In the meantime that doctor
moved to a different facility and had no time for that
gentleness she remembered. As she was going under she
heard some strange, disgruntled murmurs. Some flunkie
must have left the case unlocked. Every single scope was

Piggy Banks

On top of a cabinet in the church's community room were
eight piggy banks the children made themselves, all turned
so they could look out the window. They were supposed to
be piggy banks: one looked more like a giraffe, another
like a poodle. The five- and six-year-olds carefully molded
the clay. The teacher cut holes on the bottom that would
fit the little stoppers bought at K-Mart. The next week the
children painted them. Each Sunday, when they came to
church with their parents, they deposited what coins they
could, saving to help a church three towns over destroyed
by fire. Some of it was money they'd been given for candy
or ice cream. Then one morning the pastor finds shards of
the banks strewn across the floor. He spots a dime as he's
cleaning up. One bank, a blue piggy with bright green eyes,
the thieves must have taken with them. It was the nicest pig
Jake had ever made. His mother offers a ceramic pink piggy
bank from her parents' attic, given to her when she was nine
or ten. But Jake wouldn't be caught dead with a pink bank,
and he doesn't like the stupid way its ears stick out.


She stares at the headline. The thick, heavy lenses of her
bifocals fog. She's so used to being called a dog by the
other kids that she's started thinking of herself that way.
But she knows better than to get her hopes up. She goes
in the bathroom, washes off her glasses, fixes the barrette
that's supposed to keep hair out of her eyes, sits on the
floor with her back against the wall, takes a deep breath,
and picks up the paper again. Oh. It's talking about pets.
Matching dog owners up with other dog owners, sometimes
renting a dog if need be. Even if a puppy was dropped on
her doorstep, she wouldn't want it, though. And just because
you don't like dogs doesn't make you a bad person. It might
even make you a better person. She gets up, rummages in
the bin for last Friday's paper. She remembers reading this,
but wants to read it again just for confirmation. There it is:
in New Orleans there are over 300 volunteers searching for
the pets they have listed as missing, but there's no such list
of missing men and women.

Jealous Lover Program Creator Is Indicted

There was a time when he sent her flowers once a week.
These days mostly it's electronic greeting cards: A Rose
for You, Somebody Loves You, The Star I Wish Upon,
From the Moment We Met, Every Night is Date Night,
Flirtatious Hearts, Picking Up a Love Bug. A field of
lilies spreads across her desktop. A virtual puppy slurps
at the monitor as it tries to kiss her. Two polar bears
hug each other. A Pooh bear, one paw in the honey pot,
stares out at her with those huge, irresistible brown eyes.

-all poems previously published at Cricket Online Review
Contributors Biographies

Emily Lloyd: she is a freelancer by day, librarian at Delaware Tech College by night. Her work has appeared at Verse Daily, McSweeney’s List, Three Candles, and in various print journals, including Phoebe, The Paumanok Review, and Smartish Pace. Her chapbook, The Most Daring of Transplants (Argonne House), was the 2004 winner of the Dogfish Head Poetry Prize. She can be found on the web at:

Mark Kanak: he is a German-English translator, radioplay author and noisemaker. His work has appeared (or is forthcoming) in Prague Literary Review, Circumference, Poetry Salzburg Review and others. Recent translations (into English) include Helicopter Hysteria by Heinrich Dubel, selected work from Austrian author Peter Pessl, including his book of short stories, Aquamarine (Twisted Spoon), and (into German) Jeff Tweedy’s Adult Head (Lautsprecher Press, Stuttgart). Two new collections are forthcoming from Horse Less Press (Providence) and Lautsprecher Press. He is Seattle based and has no website.

Ofelia Hunt: the 29 year old Arian works in the office of a construction company and likes to maintain a certain amount of mystery about herself. What we do know is that she lives in Portland, Oregon, and that you can find more of her work at her blog:

Paal Bentdal: he is an IT manager by profession but has had a passion for photography for over 10 years now. The self-taught amateur really became interested in the hobby 4 years ago when he bought his first quality reflex camera. A perfectionist by nature, he spends many hours studying books and photo websites of other photographers. He began his “light bulb” motif during the winter of 2006 and one and the photos was chosen for “Photo of the Week” at the website, Photo Net. He lives in Bergen, Norway. See more images at:

Nick Bruno: he is an educator by profession. His poetry has appeared in publications such as: Shenandoah, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Adirondack Review, Arabesques Review, Eclectica, Blue Fifth Review, Stirring, Snow Monkey, NōD Magazine, Sidereality and the fourW eighteen Anthology. He lives and writing in Canada with my wife and two children. Find more of his work at his blog:

Eddie Kilowatt: he has been published in numerous literary formats including Nerve House, Remark, American Drivel Review, Ugly Accent, thieves jargon, Thunder Sandwich, Cherry Bleeds, Word Riot, Spent Meat, BlazeVox, My Favorite Bullet, and Defenestration. His first book, Manifest Density, was released in 2006 and his second collection, Carrying a Knife in to the Gunfight was released the following year. Both are released under his own press, Full Contact Publishing. He lives in Milwaukee, WI where he works in a bar and rides his motorcycle year round. Find more of his poetry at his website:

Kristen Kaschock: she her poetry has appeared in Motel No Tell, Diagram, Coconut Poetry, Slope Editions, Melic Review, Gut Cult, and elsewhere. Her first book of poetry, Unfathoms, is available from Slope Edition. She is currently a PhD student at the University of Georgia. She holds MFAs in Choreography from the University of Iowa and in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Visit her blog to find more of her work:

Debbie T. Davies: her painting style is best described as abstract expressionist. Her work is free and colorful and is influenced by Anselm Kiefer, Jackson Pollock, Jean Du Buffet, and Terry Winters. She says her educational background in both medicine and civil engineering has greatly influenced her art; the organic fluid quality of the spirals and the structured linear quality of the mosaics. During May 2008 her work appeared in group show at Schiller's Palais in Berlin, Germany entitled "Infinite Unity", as well as my annual participation in the Tribeca Open Artist Studio Tours in April. In 2007, she exhibited in 3 different shows in Tokyo, Japan. She was born in Trinidad. Her family came to Brooklyn when she was four, and she has lived in New York City ever since. Find more about the artist at her website:

Stephen Ellis: he is a 58 year old poet who has lived in San Francisco, New Orleans, Montreal, and towns along Lake Champlain and the Hudson River. He has been director of Oasis Press since 1994. His books include Interface (Jensen/Daniels, 1999), The Long and Short of It (Spuyten Duyvil, 1999), and A Natural History of Suchness (Auguste Press, 2001). His hobbies are reading and listening to a variety of different music. He lives in Burlington, VT and his blog can be found at:

Rochelle Ratner: to date she has published fifteen books and chapbooks of poetry, a translation of the Belgian Surrealist poet Paul Colinet, two novels, and one book of criticism. Her childhood experiences in Atlantic City, N.J. have played a large role in much of her writing. Since 1978, she's been Executive Editor of American Book Review. She was poetry columnist for The Soho Weekly News from 1975-1982, poetry editor of Israel Horizons from 1988-1999, and reviews regularly for Library Journal and other publications. She served on the board of the National Book Critics Circle from 1995-2001. The poet, novelist and critic passed away in March in NYC. You can find her obit at her close friend's blog:

Closing Notes: The editor would like to thank the contributors for the use of their work. Each contributor reserves their original rights. Look for the 2nd anniversity issue of CSR online on Jan. 1st. Copyright 2008 by Maurice Oliver. All Rights Reserved.

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