Monday, July 1, 2013

July 2013 Released!

I am very pleased to announce that our second quarterly issue is officially released!
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. To view all of them, either scroll down through our feed, follow the links on the bottom of this page, or click on the "July 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 "July 2013." The downloadable magazine also includes a short introduction by myself.

There may still be some 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.

 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

Down and Out by Maggie Grinnell
Telling My Friends of the Storm by John Grey
Whose Ownership? by John Grey
Stasis by Lauren Sukin
* ("It's this thin envelope") by Simon Perchik
* (Except for the new suit") by Simon Perchik
Death of a Mouse by Bruce McRae
Light Flower by Melindy Wynn-Bourne
Stoneworkers by Barry Spacks
Poison by Brittany Nelson

Assertiveness Training for Mummies by David Vardeman
Gone by Xanthe Elliott
Strike Not by Scott Archer Jones
Aunt Hester by Carol Smallwood
Trials by Ronald Paxton


by Simon Perchik

Except for the new suit
the boy in the photograph
is starting to wave again

though you dust its frame
half sweetened wood, half
no longer exhausted

drawing sap and the rag damp
from brooding –you spray
then wipe, ready this wall

the way each small stone
is rinsed side to side as the river
that carries off one shore

the other each year heavier
holding you from behind
screeching across, wet with saliva

with nothing in writing
or a button you can open
for its scent and mist.


by Simon Perchik

It’s this thin envelope, empty, closed

gasping for air though your knuckles

are still flickering –what you hold

was never mailed, lets you rest

read the address over and over

just to move it further off

away from this boiling mountainside

ripping apart, flowing down your arm

with nothing left and cools –these days

you don’t lick the glue –in all directions

your mouth is her name, alone

coming back as ashes and snow.

Death of a Mouse

by Bruce McRae

Which is no great thing,
coming in from the frost-bitten fields,
meeting its mousey maker,
eternity’s agent the simple housecat,
a fat and playful angel of death.

The mouse, its life poured out
on a mat by a door,
the watch of its heart stopped,
the wheel in its head no longer turning.

As must we all lie down,
a little dirt-nap for the fallen just,
an old wind aching in the yellowing glade,
fields of gold calling us home,
the grains of harvest piled high.


by Xanthe Elliott

They told her to turn him off – let him go –he’s really already gone. Standing over his hospital bed, her denials were fierce, immediate. “He is my husband; I will bring him back.” And she did, though he’d been beaten to the very edge of eternity. Later she would watch him as his brow furrowed in concentration, his fingers twisting and twining until at last a bright smile lit up his face. He tugged excitedly on her sleeve. “Hey lady, look! I tied my shoes…” She cried.

Whose Ownership?

by John Grey

The child is not privately owned

so he can grasp it when the mood takes him.

Some day, it will claim itself for itself

but, for now, it goes along with

being picked up from the floor, pressed to his chest.

The threat of rain goes public also.

Even when the clouds finally burst,

drops down window-panes are available to all.

He spends money on the apples

but there's no extra cost for the taste.

Church bells rings out. Robins whistle.

He hears them all for free.

The house is full of giveaways.

Outdoors is wrapped in ribbons for him no matter the weather.

He plays Mahler on the stereo and no one hands him a bill.

Sure the child starts crying but crisp as a hundred dollar note.

With nothing to owe, he grows wealthier by the minute.

He rocks the child back to sleep. Gratis.

Telling My Friends of the Storm

by John Grey

I should have been explaining the dream.

Instead, I gave them the weather report.

There was that long gray time

when I could almost hear the sky deliberating;

the flash of fireworks in the distance,

thunder's distant rumble, that rehearsal

for the most overhead of claps.

There were short sharp bursts of hard rain,

there were long periods of mellow drizzle.

It was loud and fierce.

It was almost graceful

in the rhythms of its drear.

There was a perfect arrogance to the way

it took over the world,

upset its clear and calm conceits.

I understood the storm more

by observing the trees flapping back and forth

in sudden bursts of wind,

the cat diving for shelter,

my neighbors out in the worst of it,

gathering children's toys from their flooded lawns.

But that's not how dreams are

and that's not how storms are.

I fell asleep at the window

and I was back in my childhood

dancing in the puddles,

cheering on the war gods,

celebrating the cool of the wet on my skin.

You missed a great storm,

I was telling my friends.

You should have known me then,

I longed to say.


by Lauren Sukin

This is the domino theory: that we will fall
like small Asian countries (against the Berlin wall)
awestruck at finding solace
in the great democratic fingertips.
With your arms a cradle into evening,
We will crest and wane and linger into the dark,
ever peering around the red corner.
I pray that nothing changes,
pray thanks and hope that at sunrise
the morning will undress me,
and naked I may tumble into stasis. 

Assertiveness Training for Mummies

by David Vardeman

The old lady across the street gave me the finger. She must be like a hundred and five, so what she’s doing giving me the finger is anybody’s guess. I wouldn’t be like a hundred and five and about to meet my Maker and giving the guy across the street the finger like there’s no tomorrow, I can tell you that. There’s a payday for these things, she’s got to know. You can’t live your life just any old way, giving the guy across the street the finger whenever you feel like it. If I’d done something, OK. Picked her flowers or run my car up on her lawn, or even given her the finger first. But here’s the thing. If I were like a hundred and five and even if the guy across the street was a jerk and had given me the finger first, I wouldn’t give it back to him. Heck, no. I would rise above the finger, consider the source or what have you. I would also consider my immortal soul, for the fate of your immortal soul rides on such things as whether you give the finger (first or second, it doesn’t matter which) or whether you turn the other cheek. I’m like seventeen and when this old lady that’s like a hundred and five across the street gave me the finger, I knew enough to turn the other cheek. What’s wrong with her? She gives you the finger first, which makes it pretty certain she’d give it back to you if you gave it to her first. Even at my age, I know enough not to give it second, and definitely not first.

Down and Out

by Maggie Grinnell

A full figured short woman in a black cape stole a bag of chips
from the deli wearing no shoes.
A man who lost his job and wife to drugs now receives welfare
checks that the deli owner holds for him.
A woman spots a lady and her three young children who looked
hungry wandering the streets. She went to buy food and when she returned,
they were gone.
A middle aged man faints everyday at the local hospital just to get a hot
Homeless people are just us at our lowest point.

Strike Not

by Scott Archer Jones

Las esperanzas engordan pero no maintienen. Hope fattens, but it doesn't keep you alive.

It turned noon as David Alvarez raised the roof of the Crusher. With short little explosive sounds, the Rambler lying in the Crusher’s bed released tension from its new shape, as if it tried to pop its bones back into its joints. The compressor topped up its pressure, and when the gauge showed right for a fast restart, David turned off the diesel.

He removed his earmuffs and hardhat, and the sound in the air flipped from deadness to singing quiet. At that moment, in the time between the crush and the removal of the metal block that had been a car, things felt preternaturally frozen. Then a woman cried out.

Aunt Hester

by Carol Smallwood

(Excerpt from Lily's Odyssey [print novel 2010] published with permission by All Things That Matter Press.)

Having to leave the room of my own in Ithaca was difficult. I wanted to remain for the daffodils, to hear bees among the lilacs: even mosquitoes in Ithaca would’ve been special.
I knew that tightly closed tulips like Aunt Hester’s lips would soon be appearing on both sides of Uncle Walt’s drive. She planted them so precisely that as a child I used to connect them like dot-to-dot puzzles. I saw her life as a series of neatly written signs like: Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness; Prayer Is The Answer. But Uncle Walt had said that Aunt Hester had worn her dresses short when she was younger, and that it was her legs that’d first caught his eye.


by Ronald Paxton

Sarah Jane Howard felt a trickle of cold sweat break away from the nape of her neck and begin its slow journey down the middle of her back. The jump was coming up fast; too fast.
Stay relaxed. Concentrate on your posture and balance. Let your horse make the jump.
At the last second Sarah Jane felt her hands come up as she tightened her grip on the reins. Little Powell responded to the movement and veered away from the obstacle.
No!” Huger Monroe shouted from the far side of the ring.

Light Flower

by Melindy Wynn-Bourne

At the spot where she once laid
As heartbeat stopped and life did fade
Her fingers, torn from shards of glass
Reached out and grasped a tuft of grass,
Each blade tipped with a crimson drop.
Since then, the green-hued grass did stop
It’s growth to give a streak of red
To mark where she laid her head.
Amid the scarlet fronds, a light
Comes from the blossoms. Glowing, white
Against the night seems pale and stark
And cuts a ray of light into the dark.
Illuminates the narrow lane,
The curve invisible in rain
Marked by this one fragile rose
Opens as another one draws close.


by Barry Spacks

Sartre writes that all souls cry out
if you beat your soul...but you must go public.
Gag the poor thing in its feted cell
and you're comfortless, you're humming your dirge
Why me? Why me the self-assassin?”
Tell us then how you seemed to be chosen
to slam your mind from wall to wall
while the stoneworkers swagger home at night
(or so you think) for drink and sex
crying "Damn, today we done laid us some stone!”


by Brittany Nelson

When I turn to sleep and my head is buried in the pillow
submerged within memories that I had with you
The words you speak mean more to me and nothing to you
I float on words that you used to say
and hope that this isn’t the end of the wave
I want the words to weave together
and the phrases to stitch into meaning
warm breath should never stop flowing
when it leaves your mouth
The kiss of poison reaches me
when I hear the passion in your voice
a drip of knowledge seeps through
and when I take it in, this is the greatest sin
To believe what you say
and taste the feeling on my tongue
responding with nonsense and nothingness
This is where my heart begins to feel intoxicated and alleviated
I'm stupid and lucid off the words that you bind intricately
My very being is the pattern and the needle is your tongue
it stitches through me like the devil's song it goes on and on
The poison slips in through my ears
it becomes all I can taste, all I can hear
the current overtakes me, carrying me
a blanket of toxicity covers me in its finality.