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Showing posts from April, 2019

Steven Breyak

One-Fingered Man Fails in Everest Bid
(from an RSS feed) 

Who wakes up knowing what news they’ll become by afternoon? 
Some, I’m sure, strive for the odd combination 
to capture the world’s fascination if only for the time 
to click to link and blink a moment in wonder. But imagine 

the plain, turning days rolling this man forward without knowledge 
of the music drafted in his tracks. One day buying airfare 
on a touchscreen. Another folding clothes. Then one afternoon 
he’s approaching the stratosphere, feeling drunk and alone, 

remembering clearly each finger’s small but tremendous 
death as if they happened in someone else’s hands 
but had been transposed to his by the same cruel magic 
that led him to love this mountain, to come apart in its cold mouth. 

This love ascends his bid to its surreal crescendo, raising 
his one digit again and again. Always there on the mountain, 
yet, in light blotches behind his eyes and in his air-starved 
mind, for fractions of moments passed, the idea of “bid” 


Nathan Graziano

Sunday Morning in Middle Age
Before stepping into the shower I remember a segment from the Nightly News where researchers
in some prestigious university discovered the number of push-ups a man can do has a direct correlation
to the likelihood of developing heart disease   so as the shower ran and the mirrors misted up
I hit the deck to determine when I would die, my palms pressed to the tiles, my arms shaking.
If I could hit twenty, I’d reduce my chance of a stroke by sixty-four percent, according to the researchers.
There’s no suspense here, folks. After ten push-ups, I dropped flat to my belly on the bathroom rug, done.
A forty-three year old man, found dead in a bathroom in his boxer shorts beside a toilet—an ugly obituary.

Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, with his wife and kids. His books include Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press), After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press) Hangover Breakfasts (Bottle of Smoke Press in 2012), Sort Some Sort of Ugly (Mar…

David Bulley

Business lessons At times, in my travels through the wild snowy places I’ve stepped on the nothing about half an inch above the snow So that I left no track, disturbed nothing, ghosting past exhausted deer and moose huffing through chest deep drifts Searching out that last spruce bud within reach. By sheer coincidence, I happen to always be alone On these sorties so that, having left no track, I’ve also left no proof of my passing. One time I stomped through deep snow from One copse to another, sweating and heaving Behind me, single file, a herd of deer picked and snickered in my wake. When we arrived, they frolicked at an ecstatic pace until all the snow was tamped down and walkable Cleverly lifting their reach to the tiny buds, they could not touch before. I tasted a tiny maple bud masticating, zen-like and found it good. We all chewed for awhile and contemplated Thoreau
David Bulley writes poems and songs and stories and shares them with people he thinks might enjoy it. He is an administrator in a h…

James Croal Jackson

We used to be the same, used to dance in living rooms in Grandview houses, drunk on homemade Moscow Mules in copper mugs, and then you said you would no longer drink, but you’d watch with a glass of empty icewater, drip out the fronts of bars without a noise.

James Croal Jackson (he/him) has a chapbook, The Frayed Edge of Memory (Writing Knights Press, 2017), and poems in Columbia Journal, Rattle, and Reservoir. He edits The Mantle ( Currently, he works in the film industry in Pittsburgh, PA. (