Showing posts from January, 2014


  Ms. Roe’s mailbox is bluish-green – our winters chipped away color – baring spots of metal.   It is rusted shut from violent gales, knifing sleet… and inactivity.   Yet every Saturday at dawn, the hearty spinster trudges down the hillside, casts down her eyes then awaits the courier in silence, just outside our matronly circle.      In Sheridan County, the mailboxes are clumped together on warped 2” by 4”s – and the posts shift in the earth – the letter boxes lean like bowed branches.   Due to reckless snow-plows, some women paint their boxes splashy colors – our row consists of a grassy green one, pink, a shiny unpainted one, then turquoise (that’s Ms. Roe) and black (that’s me). Self-sacrifice has dimmed our eyes, but there’s strength in having no voice.   The postman steps past her; Ms. Roe stands expressionless ‘til he drives away.   She curtsies slightly then forges up the ridge, empty-handed once again.   And the lines in our foreheads are rigid.   You see, the women of

Bogey Woman

It had been an hour. Sixty, swollen, aching minutes flashing expectantly on the shitty radio alarm clock. She hated waking up, the whole routine. Glaring at the fluttering, flirty lashes of the LED. She lit the spliff, licked her finger, picked her nose. Flicked the page of her book. She tried to melt away, soak into the paper leaves. For two days now, her fingers had been digging, diving, into her nostrils. It was this new stuff. So cheap! But two days later (not including last night, when she had needed 3 lines to get the Christmas tree done), she still felt worms feeding from her brain. They begged to be teased out. He kept telling her to stop. After the first nosebleed, she’d asked him to interrupt her excavations. Now, he spoke: ‘Stop that.’ She examined the tree, dry and spindly. Though it had been his big idea, his interest ended at the hunter-gatherer stage of dragging it down the high street. He had missed the whole thing, probably admiring his awful hair - wa


she danced   like she was settling fingerprint frost emblazoned on her skin   above everyone else   skirt blooming; dying arms outstretched-- shivers up her spine:   her only fear was flying.   i knew a wintergirl once.   from up out of the snow-flakes   falling on her appleglass eyes,   and with thoughts like mountains   words made of icicles   the delicate orange blossom painting her lips,   she rose moonlight monument   to soar on the stars. by Sarah Goehring


Jem always tried to blend in with his surroundings. Like a chameleon he was, turning green against the leaves of the forest, burning brown in the hot winds of the desert. Life was a moveable feast. Jem drifted seasonally from job to job, digging in, holding fast, until it was time to move on. It was best if he didn´t stay anywhere for very long. It was best if he didn´t talk that much, if he hid himself in the wallpaper of other people´s lives. Over ten years of wandering, Jem drifted from coast to coast, up into the high mountains and down again, but he never went to sea. He had no desire to turn blue against the waves and sky. He moved across the wetlands, turning pale yellow against the rushes. Red-winged blackbirds nested on his arms. Soft cattails brushed his bristly cheeks. He dreamed of resting in the swamps until it was all over. He could just decay, his colourless body softly dissolving in the brackish water. But the signal came, as he always knew it would. He mus

The Hatter Shakes

Before the onset of addled speech when stitch becomes swatch becomes swish becomes swash becomes schwa, the fabric needs to be dipped and dyed, measured and cut, patterned and sewn. But it’s all wrong, needs to be done twice again. Shaky hands, poor sight make for mis-measurement, mis-hue. The felt has never been sick, yet it’s still cured with mercury in rooms with no vents. In the late stages, the hats make themselves. Dance under needles. Zip through machines. Twinkle. Entwine. Glow velvet neon. Crush with feathers.  Drink the mercury gallon by gallon, let the hatter sleep in his maddened bed. by Christina M. Rau


Something dropped onto my nose. I tried to look at it but it made my eyes go funny. Another one. I looked up and could see millions and billions of bits of white falling down on to all the people in the street. ‘Mummy!’ I laughed and stopped, pulling on her hand in mine, ‘Look Mummy!’ ‘It’s snow, Charlie, it’s snowing. We’ll have to hurry to the bus stop now or we’ll get wet.’ ‘Wet?’ It didn’t look wet to me. ‘Of course, you haven’t seen snow before. Goodness Charlie, your first snow! When we get home we can have some fun in it, sledging and snowmen, but we need to get to the bus stop.’ She pulled me along but I wanted to stop and look at it. Everyone was moving faster and we were pushed along the pavement. No one else wanted to look at the snow but everyone looked cold. It fell and fell and fell, jiggling about before it landed. The floor was turning messy and puddly. I tried to stand in them but Mummy kept pulling me along. The hedge beside us was turning white l