Thursday, April 4, 2013

April 2013 Released!

I am very pleased to announce that our first magazine-style issue is officially released! Due to some technical hiccups, it is a few days later than anticipated, but now I have the kinks worked out and the next issue will be released with (hopefully) very few problems.
As promised, there are two ways to view the content for this issue:
All of the stories and poems have been published as individual entries on this site, exactly as we've done in the past. To view all of them, either scroll down through our feed, or click on the "April 2013" tag.
If you prefer, the magazine has also been uploaded to Google Drive available to view and download. Simply follow this link, or click the tab at the top of the screen that reads "April 2013." The downloadable magazine also includes a short introduction by myself.

There are still a few formatting glitches to be worked out over the next couple days. If you spot a problem, please send an email to including a link to the page with a problem, if appropriate. Be sure to put "LAA" in the subject line somewhere so our spam filters don't catch you.

I was intending to make the magazine available on Amazon to download, but, as you know if you've been following this magazine on Facebook, there is no way that I could make the content free that way and I don't want money to be involved at any point in this process. If you would like to view the magazine on an e-reader, you can download it through Google Drive entirely for free. I do not have an e-reader myself, so I'm not sure exactly how to accomplish this. If you have any questions of that nature, please direct them to the manufacturer of your e-reader.

Below is a listing of all the pieces featured in this issue

"Slimy Lemons in Aged Whiskey" by Brent Lucia
"Knock Shrine" by Christian Reifsteck
"Molly Maguire's Pub" by Christian Reifsteck
"The Words of a Dutiful Niece" by Adreyo Sen
"Where Do the Balloons Go?" by Brittany Cagle
"Maple Scarf" by Brittany Cagle
"Joel" by Brittany Cagle
"No River Shall the Sea Refuse" by Jarrett Fontaine
"A Job Ain't Nothin' But Work" by Jean Byrne
"Why?" by Madison Grace Allen
"Coming Home After a Long Absence, Cleaning" by Florence Helbing
"The Flash of Metal" by Sara Jean Yaste
"Meet Buck and Jodie Cole!" by Nels Hanson
"Expanding Microscopic Dots" by Kim Farleigh
"Observation is Nine-Tenths of Possession" by David Vardeman

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Observation is Nine-Tenths of Possession

by David Vardeman

I saw this prostitute in church once.
How did you know she was a prostitute?
You just do, you know? I’d seen her around downtown now and then. On Sundays. Usually always on Sundays. I’d go to my parents for dinner and then afterward I’d drive down Second Street to the Second Street bridge, and she’d be at the bus stop by the YMCA with her shoulder bag. She rested one of her hands on the shoulder bag. The hand of the arm of the shoulder it was over, usually. Or sometimes the other hand of the other arm, crossed over, resting on it.

Expanding Microscopic Dots

by Kim Farleigh

James was beside me in the van, whisper-hissing: “Idiot. Jeeessuzzz.....”
The driver was talking to a guy whose head was covered by a red-and-white scarf, a guy clutching an AK-47, a faceless being, with a gun, beside the driver’s window, talking to the driver.
Idiot,” James hissed, strongly and very quietly.
Julian, facing the windscreen, feigning arm-stretched relaxation, resembled a statue facing the world.
Jeesuzzzz.....,” James hissed.
The only things moving in the van were the driver’s hands and lips; and James’s lips that whispered: “Idiot!”

Meet Buck and Jodie Cole!

by Nels Hanson

When I went into the hospital the day Johnny died, I told Dr. Westbrook that I’d remembered everything that had happened in Nevada, out of the blue with the crowd at the Donny Williams Show clapping wildly, whistling and holding up the jumping signs:
Someone yelled “Go Coles!” as the sound system played the lead stanza of our platinum hit—I explained to the doctor that I’d titled it “Eldon Carter,” before Jodie insisted that we change the name:
Travis Jackson was a friend of mine
Cowboy-bred but out of time.
The West is going, going, gone.
You can hear it fade when you hear his song.”

The Flash of Metal

by Sara Jean Yaste

The flash of metal shocks her. In it she sees the flash of memory, of her mother holding her hand when she drank a glass of soap mistaking it for lemonade, of her brother beating her up outside of their high school, right before they were to start a high school play, or her few boyfriends who couldn't handle her nature and also decided to use physical violence to deter her from herself.
She sees all these things and digs the metal deeper. "Not made for this life," keeps repeating over and over in her head, like a failsafe mantra, like an excuse, like an apology.
Another memory, "excuses are monuments of nothingness." A poem she was told to memorize and recite for her fourth grade class. Standing in line to leave the classroom and hearing comments from boys around her remarking that if she's standing a certain way or touching something it is because she likes whomever is making the statement. Two boys fighting over her on the playground (this was before she'd had her first kiss, mind you) and the teacher thinking it was funny and making snarky comments to her all the while.

Coming Home After a Long Absence, Cleaning

by Florence Helbing

Green glass of the wine bottle,
because it was a “good night.”

or artifact, evidence
of your tenure here.

It was good wine, too.
At the time, you told me
it would be a nice touch
in the life we were going
to have: sophisticated and
well-adjusted, sipping wine
on a balcony. Each still
handling the other
with care.

Outline of your absence
no longer so conspicuous.
That’s okay. There is a place in me still

for those people, drunk
and shiny with happiness, who saw
in the pink sliver of dawn
a future, and believed it was theirs.


by Madison Grace Allen

Why do my eyes have to bear this?
One season has gone by and my sadness has expanded.
While they walk away my heart sinks.

A Job Ain't Nothin' But Work

by Jean Byrne

The morning’s sunshine reflects on the tables
And the holiday makers are easily
Separated from the work goers
I’m not really sure which I am
My coffee’s a little too sweet
I in no way needed this third cigarette
The interview’s soon and I’m not
Sure what they want from me
But surely they won’t give me what I want

Internship, a likely excuse to exploit
Someone as desperate as me
The bizarre situations we find ourselves in
Just to make a buck
Uncertainty feeds desperation
We’re scared and feeling grateful
To fuckers offering below minimum wage
We’ve lost it
And as a wise man once said
A job ain’t nothin’ but work”

No River Shall the Sea Refuse

by Jarrett Fontaine

No river shall the sea refuse
there is no choice when chose for you
a milky bath of skyward blue
it's steady guide
the inward swim
rolls across your rippled skin
under currents panicked bare
the lifeless roar
of eye-locked stare
she grabbed my hand
walked in water-swallowed sand
and sang to me
as we absorbed
but all her rhymes
just felt so forced
that anchor dragged on ocean's floor
in deeper waters waves recede
a stream of blue in blood I bleed
when empathy won't feel for you
no river shall the sea refuse.


by Brittany Cagle

Brackish water washed over
the tips of his feet as
the current drew
him violently in,
until he swirled
with the grasses
beneath the black water,

The landscape blurred into a string
of air bubbles and distant
strangers only saw that
quick blur of silver ripples.

I was dreaming somewhere in the distance,
with my friend sinking
the moonlit surface.

Maple Scarf

by Brittany Cagle

Under a harvest moon,
atmosphere smolders

red flames that lick fields of
corn stalk and golden thread.

Summer lurks behind in
fragmented memory,

has left reminders

in the bruised apples that litter
rows of leaf nests. And

silently they tumble down

the weathered skin of oak branches,
leaving a carpet to welcome snow.

Where Do the Balloons Go?

by Brittany Cagle

A balloon
rises, and
becomes a shrinking

Helium breathes
In wisps of cloud.

A child
traces the sky,
his finger
to the sun.

The Words of a Dutiful Niece

by Adreyo Sen

It would be nice if one day
Had the sweet immediacy
Of chocolate
Or some other such vehicle
For the treachery
Of sugar.

Words are cheap
Conjure them off
Thin air
Or make them king-sized
Dark satisfaction
In large letters carved
On marzipan
Or animal crackers.

Even the poor
Could gobble them off
Weighty tomes
And discarded
Ice cream wrappers
The stale ink would add a kick
Most promiscuous.

I could put your grieving bulk in front
Of a widescreen TV
And let Owen Wilson do his stunts
In deceptively convincing glee
As yet his wrists functional
And watch you float away
High and numbed
By saccharine comedy.

I would stick to chocolate
Treat myself to some sleek Godiva
Or naughty
After emptying your bank account and moving
To Aruba.

Molly Maguire's Pub

by Christian Reifsteck

I could never stand
a misplaced apostrophe,
so I do not buy
the black shirt hanging
from the pub’s tin ceiling
that reads, “Patricks’ a saint
I ain’t.”
I do not wear grammatical errors.

But the boys who pretend to be men
in their black leather biker vests and chain wallets
and tattoos encircling their necks
don’t know any better.

They pretend to be the devil himself—
antithesis of everything holy,
everything Saint Patrick.
I see it in their eyes,
through the smoke clinging to the tin ceiling
and the wrinkled posters of Irish landscapes
plastered to the lime green walls of this little corner bar
squeezed between the close neighborhood houses
surrounded by mountains in a little corner town
that pretends to be Irish in this little spot.

I see the hesitancy in their faces
the uncertainty, the small innocent fear
undetectable under a fifth beer,
invisible behind a beard,
and as subtle as an inappropriate apostrophe
that no one really notices.

Knock Shrine

by Christian Reifsteck

God appears to me in such plainness sometimes—
here in Mayo, where the Virgin and some sheep and a cow
appeared behind the church to a group of farmers
nearly one hundred years ago.
And now a concrete shrine
has covered over the fields.

God appears to me in such plainness sometimes—
but not in the stark white statues marking the spot,
not the wall of glass encasing them,
not the massive stone rosary,
not even the rows of post-modern holy water fonts.
Not in these.

But God appears to me in such plainness sometimes—
in the elderly woman half-blind and timid
and thankful, so thankful to that selfsame God that I,
some stranger who has determined how to coax
the holy water from the font’s silver udder,
am here to guide her hand to fill up her cup.

And so God has appeared to me in such plainness—
in the old woman who can hardly see,
in her nervous request for assistance,
her relief that I just happen to be there,
and in the used plastic water bottle
that God flows into.

Slimy Lemons in Aged Whiskey

by Brent Lucia

The old bird walked in, flapping her cheap wings.
Scouting for rusty Johns.
Screaming at Hell’s gate to let her in for her sins.

She clung to our noses like burnt rubber.
Peeling at the rind.
Dumping a twist in her Powers on the rocks.

And in the black sea, against her empty palm.
Sinking against the past.
Passing away from all the lonely touches of her day.