It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Pisello, Cihlar, Mahagin

Oak and Maple by Janice Pisello

I still see it. The deterioration of this old house. She has masked it with navy paint and new shutters, but it is drowning. Sinking into itself. There are snakes and raccoons in the walls, clawing at night like twigs over siding. Exterminators have been called. Redialed.

A Brief Encounter by Lisa Cihlar

The wolf at my door asks to use the telephone. Seems the radio collar around his neck won’t tune in to his favorite Jazz and Blues station any more.

Dennis Mahagin: ...Semi Embittered Lifetime AA Batter

n the dugout I listened to a hell/of a lot of Muddy Waters.
There was this one/old blue oil drum/where bushers spit their/bubble gum and tobacco/chew, gave off a cologne/like pot/roast prepared/mostly to fool you.

Hamilton-Caudill, Bittner and Sexton

Facing History, Facing the Future by Ginger Hamilton Caudill

A Letter to My Mother by Sergei Alexsandrovich Yesenin

Billy on a Sunday by Kay Sexton

A Letter to My Mother by Sergei Alexsandrovich Yesenin

(translated 2011 by Russell Bittner)

Hallo one last time, dearest mother of mine,
___I trust that you’re keeping my bed
as white as our birches; as starched as our
___pine; as clear as our sky overhead.

The rumour now runs: my old mother misses
___some devil--apparently me.
That devil, in truth, remembers her kisses,
___her ratty old coat and her tea.

Some evenings, I’ll wager, the vision’s
___perverse: a tavern; your boy in a brawl
with sailors whose cunning eviscerates;
___worse: his entrails drip script down a wall.

Now pause for a moment to think this one
___through; don’t tell me I’ve failed to comply
with wending what may not seem homeward to
___you, but is, with a kiss, on the fly.

I think rather not --and trust you’ll make
___haste to give this old rumour the lie.
The truth is I’m homesick and don’t want to
___waste one swinish night more in this sty.

In spring, I’ll come running back home to
___arms outstretched, bearing handfuls of sage,
if you’ll just relinquish those motherly
___charms that can’t come to grips with my age

Halloween Fare: Ferraro and Abraham

Yo soy ardiente, yo soy morena . . .Gustavo Adolfo por Bécquer (Translated by Diana Ferraro)

The Feather PIllow by Horacio Quiroga (Translated by Diana Ferraro)

Parasite by Ruth Abraham

Ghoul Time: Caspar, Morgan, Augustine

Weightless by Monica Caspar

The 737 climbs steeply, swiftly, vibrating like an unbalanced washing machine as metal meets atmosphere. The tense, blond man in the window seat, marks the sign of the cross. Once. Twice. Etching anodyne faith in the thin cabin air. He sighs heavily and leans back in the cramped seat, his long legs contorted at odd angles to his body. Los Angeles smolders below, a dusky oasis.

Two on the Way by JWM Morgan

When I’m seventeen and we was going to high school in Oakland I get pregnant for the first time by Germain. He said it’s all good and he’s happy for us and he wants us to have our baby.

Sweetie and Jack by Nonnie Augustine

Let's walk through this park. We can talk until dark./You have the look of a wolf. I'm not stupid, Jack.

I'm a lamb, you'll see, once you get to know me./That tat is fierce and your leathers tight black.

Birthday Tales for Dickens

With affection beaming out of one eye, and calculation shining out of the other.
Charles Dickens

Cihlar, Smith, and Unknown

Tuninetti and Mannone

Interview from Quesada by Alejandra Tuninetti
En Conversación - Alessandra Tuninetti y Antonio Pino

Lament by John C. Mannone

Editors for the Issue

Managing Editor
M. Lynam Fitzpatrick

Editors for Review

Ramon Collins
Nonnie Augustine
Yvette Managan

Diana Ferraro
Alejandra Tuninetti
Marie Fitzpatrick

Consulting on Copy
Digby Beaumont

Spanish Translations
Diana Ferraro

Contributing Editors
Martin Heavisides
Bill West

Photography Editor
Maia Cavelli

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