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 Volume #10                  June 1st, 2003                      Issue #1
 Est. January, 1994                           

                                          Contents for Volume 10, Issue 1

     Hand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dean Kostos

     Spoken Under Hypnosis: 
      An Earlier Life in Burma as a Woman Named Mi Aye  . . Dean Kostos

     Exercises in Memoir or A Tarantula and a Bong
        . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elise Bonza Geither

     The Bridal Shower  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Kelly Ann Malone

     The Dark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . jj goss

     Candlelight  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Amanda Auchter

     Mortal Nights  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Durlabh Singh

     To Die at the Springs of El-Hamma  . . . . . . . . .  Elisha Porat

     What became of us  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  W. Wessels

     Asleep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Keith Felberg

     Thunder on a Clear Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Eric Prochaska

     Tower 147  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . D.G. Harris

     About the Authors  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Authors


 Editor                             +                      Fiction Editor
 Robert Fulkerson            The Morpo Staff                  J.D. Rummel
 Poetry Editor                                          Associate Editors
 Kris Fulkerson                                Lori Abolafia, Skip Ciulla


 The Morpo Review.  Volume 10, Issue 1.  The Morpo Review is published
 electronically on a quarterly basis.  Reproduction of this magazine is
 permitted as long as the magazine is not sold and the entire text of
 the issue remains intact.  Copyright 2003, The Morpo Review.  The
 Morpo Review is published in ASCII and World Wide Web formats.

 All literary and artistic works are Copyright 2003 by their respective
 authors and artists.

 ISSN 1532-5784


   Dean Kostos

   In the midst of glass
   he can't quadrate
   a mannequin's hand
   into its polystyrene
   wrist. He can't adjust
   its gesture.
   The square flange
   lodges in the wrist's square
   hole the wrong
   way, so the hand
   won't rest
   at hips
   (poised as if
   the mannequin
   stalked breezes,
   long hair scrawling
   toward a future),
   instead twists forward,
   as if it could rip
   a hunk of flesh,
   as if it could


   Spoken Under Hypnosis: 
     An Earlier Life in Burma as a Woman Named Mi Aye
   Dean Kostos

   Imagine stepping through a gate that is exit and entrance:
          Pass from who you are to who you could
                 no longer be. What do you see?

   Pretending not to notice men's glances,
          I traipse, soles tasting soil.
                 Filaments I embroidered

   into dragons entwine on the longyi skirt
          whispering across my calves.
                 Lanterns yaw overhead. Pushed

   by the crowd, a soldier falls into me.
          The way a blade slices an envelope,
                 he opens my silence.
                 What does he say?

   He calls my eyelids suede seeds,
          my hair black streams. His arms gleam
                 like leaves after rain.

   By candle-flicker, my hair scrawls calligraphy
          onto his chest. He leaves, but always returns
                 until the moon no longer bleeds persimmon.

   My belly swells like a rice sack.
          While another life ripens, I grow
                 thin. Can't eat. Food reeks.

   I'm a door closing, a door against.
          Not wanting to shame Mother,
                 I spill air from my veils and sail

   into a ravine. In brief oblivion, my silks and hair
          tint a cut of sky. When spasms
                 cease, she holds the baby: bald squab,
   flesh flinching against death. She wraps it
          in banana leaves,
                 buries it by the creek.

                 What do you see now?

   Mother wakes me with a bowl of rice
          but it looks like maggots.
                 My arms go cold, my self coils

   from its core. I lift from flesh: pit from fruit. She
          spreads my cloths across her pillow, entombs
                 her face in embroidered leaves. . . .
                 What do you see after dying?
   Petals hover in hoof-smoke as a gold
          Buddha riding a gold throne
                 sails men's shoulders on a palanquin.
   A basket swells with saffron rice; another spills
          pomegranates and lotus pods the color
                 of oxblood. Binding my days to Eternity,
   an altar wears a swag of knotted ropes.
          A man tilts a mirrored disc-plate full of sky,
                 a boy breathes into an oliphant,
   an elder thrums a boat-shaped harp; from its strings,
          dead ancestors sing me toward them,
                 our words dissolve like gauze.

                 Are you at peace?

   I can't say; peace no longer has an opposite.


   Exercises in Memoir or A Tarantula and a Bong
   Elise Bonza Geither 

   I'm not lying when I tell you his name was Ken Wolf. He was a senior
   theater major, had a single with a loft, a bong, and a tarantula. He
   had blue eyes, faded so they looked like reversed mirrors in his head.
   First time: I was sitting under the blue lights of the student-run bar
   smoking clove cigarettes. I was in that uncaring mood; classes hadn't
   even started. I could sit here and get drunk as hell. I could lose
   myself in remembering last year: beer and boys, my soft legs and feet
   tangled up in chairs and beds, one special boy I thought I loved. I
   was still sad over him. I still wondered if I had gotten pregnant if
   he would have married me.
   Ken came into the bar. He recognized me from last year. He'd been a
   friend of my boy. Ken bought me a beer. He bought me two and we just
   kind of looked at each other. The music thumped up and down in my
   belly. Ken leaned forward and said, "he wanted to marry you. But he
   asked us and we told him no. But he wanted to."
   My eyes filled with sugar-water. The tears ran down my face in
   rivulets. I held in a sob until I couldn't any more and it broke out
   of my throat like the cracking of glass on glass. Ken leaned back in
   his chair.
   Other kids came in and one guy started to rub my shoulders and say,
   "C'mon, c'mon. You're just drunk." I tried to say, "No, you don't
   understand. He wanted to." But I couldn't get the words past my
   The music slowed down and Ken pulled me up by my arm and dragged me to
   the dance floor. I buried my face in his jean-jacket shoulder and he
   gripped me. Really held on like we were both in trouble, I'd like to
   say "drowning" but that sounds stupid.
   At that moment I didn't know about us, about my dreams of being a
   super hero girl and flying just to show Ken Wolf that he needed me. I
   didn't know he'd leave me for a girl we'd nicknamed "Death" because of
   her black hair and pale, China-plate skin. I didn't know that he'd
   say, "I wish I could tell you I was falling in love with you," and
   then I'd tell my mom, "He is falling in love with me." I didn't know
   how much he loved his room, his pot, his TV.
   At that moment, I was attached to him. We were like two small animals
   or one-celled creatures, like a flower and its petals. I was filled
   with pink lights. I WAS a super hero girl and we were flying up into
   the night sky. I could smell the summer night flowers and a tang of
   stale beer. I felt his fingers grip my waist. I wrapped my arms around
   him and squeezed harder. The tears stopped. I closed my eyes and
   watched the blue sparks from us shatter into the cold air.


   The Bridal Shower
   Kelly Ann Malone

   As I wrote the name of the gift-giver on the back of a paper plate
   I couldn't help but think what a silly mistake
   No amount of tulle or pink lipstick can make this work
   Desire is an attractive but misleading motivation
   The bride-to-be is savoring her interim glory
   At her peak and never thinner, with an impressive tan
   Envious ladies offer gifts and praise
   A white confection with blush roses graces the table
   Undignified games produced intelligible banter
   How many items on the tray? Don't cross your legs!
   Cold-cuts and veggie platters along with a spinach dip
   The round thin mints in pastel colors tease the weight conscious
   "John and Jill forever" printed out on delicate white napkins
   She assumes if it's in writing, it will work


   The Dark
   jj goss

   last night I ran out of white
   the kind in dark bottles
   and too soon I was dreaming
   of the glass stem cool and smooth
   as words overheard in the hallway yesterday afternoon
   dreaming of wine
   and a lazy slipping off
   of my skin and words that slide out without stumbling
   over clenched teeth
   over other people's voices droning through movies
   I've watched a hundred times before
   dreaming of the woman in the upstairs bedroom
   screaming at night until my ceiling cracks
   in a strangely familiar pattern her words
   creep in between my sheets in between the dreams
   I have of dreaming her face reflected in my mirror
   in the mirror and in the mirror again
   my face kept in clear uncolored glass so I can keep an eye on
   the level of emptiness
   so I can tell how much is left inside


   Amanda Auchter

   A match strikes. The white flame
   dips into an open mouth . clean,
   blank, sleeping. The black tongue
   curls upward in repose, rough edges
   cracking with soot, then flicker,
   spark, and rise. It is a quiet voyeur
   in a room, dancing upon walls,
   twirling shadows down curtains,
   across the floor, dark, light,
   passing over a face, a book,
   breaking into a half moon
   of yellow glare. The jagged
   fire bobs above the pool of wax,
   the sweat carving rings of age
   around and around, down, down,
   melting and then out, silent, gray
   ghost trails into the night, cough,
   sputter, spent.


   Mortal Nights
   Durlabh Singh

   Mortal nights
   The wind with serpents
   The trees with stones
   And stars with dust bowls.
   The original nakedness of
   Cornered now with
   Vacuity of gaze
   Empty eyelids feebly abound
   With nettles of teared streams
   Mortal nights
   Full of secrets
   Full of arrows
   Freshly calcined
   In dust bowls the undertones
   Amid heartaches begin anew
   In seasons of whispered tones.


   To Die at the Springs of El-Hamma
   Elisha Porat

   Down into the fichus boulevards at the springs of El-Hamma
   come the starlings, trembling then landing.
   The water is hot at the springs of El-Hamma,
   Yet night is more hostile than day.
   Layers of sand on those who landed before:
   Layers of sand cover their faces,
   The water is dead at the springs of El-Hamma.
   From great distances come the starlings
   Beating to these death-ponds: always they come.
   Who sends these birds to end
   In the booby-trapped springs of El-Hamma?
   They fly so urgently, with no chance or time,
   No time for life and no chance to learn
   If someone expects their return.
   The starlings are flying in to die in the seducer
   Springs of El-Hamma, poisoned by the salt.
   Fowl can't stop the soldiers, for their faces
   Are pointed into the earth. Oh, how easy it is
   To finish as a starling, and not as a soldier.

   translated from the Hebrew by the author and Ward Kelley


   What became of us
   W. Wessels 

   We walked the luckless streets through a strange city
   desperately searching for work in old ugly buildings
   blankfaced offices stared back at us
   scared secretaries tuned sharply to the comfort of smooth featureless
   wished us away
   static voices promised distant money when we left.
   By noon John's feet were killing him
   his cheap shoes surrendered to smaller steps
   we slowed down and ceased to joke about the borrowed suits
   our tired reflections scattered across countless blind shop windows
   I judged the few Stuyvesants in a crumpled pack
   weighed the change in my pocket
   traffic lights blinked nervously moments before rush hour descended
   we couldn't cross when the demon dark angel man cornered us
   in a
   brilliant move
   cars pushing home
   blocked our escape
   left us with
   no excuse
   when he held out his hand
   I stepped back said fuck off
   sensing heavy wings under a black coat
   two coarse growths beneath peroxided hair
   but he liked the jinglejangle of my coins too much
   and still persists those streets
   a ghostly reminder
   of luckless ones like us


   Keith Felberg

   Light slid along thin strands of cobweb, and the morning sun poured
   through the green vineyards in the valley. He brushed the sticky
   invisible threads from his face, and walked the steep path towards the
   top of the hill. He breathed hard of the air that was stale and humid
   and had the pungent smell of earth. Plants flourished everywhere, and
   there were groves of small white flowers covered in dew. He could feel
   them brush damply against his bare arms as he began to sweat. Tall
   green hills rose on all sides and above them the air was bright and
   drowsy. There was no breeze and the odor hung thick in the stillness,
   strong and sickly sweet.
   He looked down the way he came, the path vanishing in the green, and
   then to a farm down in the distance where he heard a rooster crowing.
   She was sleeping down in the car. There was a monument there where a
   battle was fought in the Spanish American War. A tall stone stuck from
   the earth, and the ground glimmered with broken glass all around it.
   They had driven in the night, and parked when the sun was still cool
   and rosy on the horizon, and the air was crisp and fresh and smelled
   of eucalyptus. They watched the mist that settled in the valley, and
   the rolling green mountains that rose out of it. There was that potent
   beauty that comes when the eyes are tired of looking, or when the sun
   comes after watching the ghosts of places in the night, and the
   hypnotic rush of asphalt. They dozed in the car while tall palms
   swayed and swam in the gentle morning breeze.
   They rolled down the windows and the breeze came cool and lovely
   through the car. She leaned back in the driver's seat and closed her
   eyes. He stared out into the sway of the palms, and the deep sun
   lightened green of the hedges. It really was a fine morning. He leaned
   over and kissed her neck. She started at first: opened her eyes, then
   leaned her head back smiling.
   "That tickles," she said, and shut her eyes again.
   He pulled the strap of her gray tank top over her shoulder
   "Quit it," she said playfully and sat up.
   "I'm glad we came," she said.
   "Me too," he said, still feeling the dampness of her skin.
   "Do you remember when it used to flood by your house, and we'd race
   paper boats in the street."
   "I remember," he said, sitting up.
   "I miss it there," she said.
   He stared out at the flowers that shivered in the light wind, with the
   birds singing in the stale humid air, and the long shadows falling
   across the parking lot.
   "I miss how we used to just stay in bed in the winter because it was
   always cold and the wind seemed to go right through it," she said. "I
   remember being all warm and tucked in, and just listening to it howl
   He still wasn't looking at her, but knew she was smiling, could hear
   it in her voice.
   "What's wrong?" she said.
   He blinked, then looked at her.
   "Do you want some water?"
   "No, that's ok," he said.
   "This one's still cold. I froze it before we left see," she said, and
   put the cold bottle of water against his cheek.
   "Stop that."
   "Don't make me tickle you."
   "You wouldn't dare, we're in public."
   "You never though of this car as public before," he said.
   "What do you mean?"
   "You know what I mean."
   "That's it mister," she said opening the water bottle.
   The water was very cold and his shirt was halfway soaked, but it felt
   kind of good in the heat.
   "You win," he said.
   "I know," she said. "I always win." He leaned over to tickle her and
   she backed against the door.
   "No no I'm kidding I'm kidding," she said, and he sat up.
   "Are you happy now?" she said softly and almost scared.
   They were early at the park, and the sun was hot after the hike above
   the monument, and there was that over-ripe taste still in the air.
   Inside she wanted to see the birds, and pointed and smiled with the
   sun on her face. He told her they should ride the tram first, it would
   be crowded soon. So they stood in the shadows of the trees and against
   the rising leaves of the brush until the tram came. The sun was higher
   now, and white, and their car was full of children. Some cried and
   were unhappy, and stared sometimes out at the animals that roamed free
   on the rolling green savannah. Sometimes their eyes were wells and
   other times fixed, out past the shadows in the heat of the morning
   sun. The little girl that sat next to him looked at him for a long
   time, and he looked back at her. She had blond hair and blue eyes and
   was about four. When he imagined having children, it was always a
   little girl with blond hair and blue eyes. He didn't know why. They
   rolled across the bottom of the long green valley, and tigers moved
   lazily and catlike in the shade. They passed the last of the white
   rhinos that laid like giant pale stones beneath a broad shaded tree.
   The guide said there was nothing to be done for them. There were only
   five left in captivity, and two in the wild. She said all the females
   were past their breeding age, and they would be extinct inside three
   years. He looked out at them a long time. They did not move, but laid
   perfectly still and hot in the shade. He thought for a moment about
   the last time he was in San Diego, and how they found a whale washed
   up on the beach. It was long and grey like the sky above the water,
   and they climbed over the rocks that were wet with rain to get near
   it. Seagulls pecked at it, and they could see where they'd broken
   through the thick dark skin to the pink inside. It was sad to watch:
   those tiny scavengers picking apart that great animal that just laid
   on its back with dead black eyes. The rhinos were like that, not on
   their backs, but like stones, like they were already dead.
   People gazed into the hard white sun with fading sour smiles, cameras
   cocked, no wind. There was a woman in front of him: horse toothed,
   wrinkled eyes, and just staring. They were just staring out at them.
   None of them would ever see another alive again. Would they live on
   vacation film? One last generation brought down from time immemorable,
   to be gawked at by tourists in khaki shorts with sun burnt noses. How
   could that be destiny. Their lives, such startling and beautiful
   things, fierce and wild, but now just like stones, porous, unmoving,
   flies swarming. The rhinos were colorless in the shade, and the harsh
   whiteness of the sun. They were alive, but not alive. There in that
   car full of people he felt unspeakably lonely for a moment, but just
   for a moment and then it was gone.
   He looked away from the horse toothed woman.
   "Hi." Said the girl.
   "Hi," he said.
   His wife squeezed his hand, her eyes the color of corn flowers.
   "Why do you miss my old house?" he said. "Don't you like the house we
   have now?"
   "No I do. It's just, I don't know, good memories."
   There was water down in the gully and he could see the insects alive
   in the sun. They walked over the boardwalks, and she gazed into the
   water that was green muck, and at the birds that swam heavily through
   it. It was very hot now, and too bright. He could see the giraffes
   nibbling on the long slender limbs of the trees, and the children
   pointing though the wire mesh of the fence.
   They left the park and were very tired. It was early in the afternoon,
   and he slept in the car and did not dream. He was almost awake when
   they pulled into the hotel, on that pleasant edge of sleep, but he
   kept his eyes closed so she could whisper to him to wake up, they were
   The air came cold and damp off the water even before the sun had set,
   and now he stared out past the end of the pier to the darkening
   Pacific. The ocean was always strange at night, a dark vacuum, with
   the lights of the city pushing at its edge, and the sound of the waves
   coming in. He looked up for the stars, but they were distant and weary
   with the lights of the restaurant, and San Diego glowing not so far
   away. They ate fried clams that were fresh and greasy and looked out
   at where the ocean should be. He took a drink of the cold wine,
   smelling the salt air, and the fish death smell of bait from where the
   old men sat with their poles at the end of the pier. He looked up at
   her, and she was just watching the darkness. She looked back at him
   and smiled. People always smile when you catch them staring.
   "How's your food?" she asked.
   "Not bad," he said, watching her sip her wine.
   "Whatcha thinkin' about?" she said, watching him with her full
   beautiful eyes.
   "The Rhinos," he said.
   "The Rhinos at the park?"
   "Oh you must mean the rhinos back at our hotel," she said smirking.
   "The two left in the wild." He said, turning to the darkness where the
   tide was coming in.
   She did not speak for a long time, but it wasn't bad with the clams
   and the crab in drawn butter, and the old men fishing in the night.
   "I remember when you went to San Diego when we were in college, and
   you brought me back that seashell nightlight you said you bought at
   the airport because you didn't have time to shop."
   He didn't speak, but just looked at her.
   "You always used to bring me back little things when you'd go away,"
   she said, and she was still smiling, but her eyes were sad. He'd
   watched that look on her face before, the way a smile could ebb, find
   its peak and then pull back just slightly.
   "I couldn't afford big things then," he said.
   "No, I didn't mean that," she said. "I loved it. I loved that you did
   that. I loved all those things. Didn't you ever notice how I kept all
   of them?"
   He smiled sheepishly and squeezed her hand, and stared back out at
   nothing. He felt sad now, but didn't know why. Gifts always made him
   feel sad after they'd been given.
   "I miss my seashell nightlight," she said.
   "What ever happened to it?
   "It broke when we were moving," she said. "I put it in a box, and then
   when I opened it up again there were just the white shards of it."
   "I could buy you another one," he said.
   "It wouldn't be the same."
   They walked up the beach in the dark ocean breath of the night. He
   listened to the sand shift in their footsteps, the tide washing up the
   shore. His eyes glided over an infinity of footprints dimpling the
   sand, and the strange dark shapes of seaweed washed in by the tide.
   He stopped though he wasn't really sure why. He felt his hand against
   hers, closing on it, stopping her, moving it to the small of her back,
   her feet turning in the sand. She opened her mouth in surprise, but
   she was already against him, and he kissed her long and soft beneath
   the starlight. It was funny too because he was thinking about the
   winter in Korea, about waking from the cold in the dead of night with
   a month's worth of pneumonia. He remembered about how the heat was
   out, and he shivered and huddled over the blue light of a stove burner
   for warmth, listened to Miles Davis, watched the light dance over the
   empty liquor bottles strewn though the kitchen two days before
   Christmas. She was warm and close against him. It isn't the loneliest
   I've ever been he thought, and ran his hand through her hair, pulling
   it towards him, down against her cheek, fingertips tracing her throat,
   down against the edge of her breast.
   "Not here," she said, gently pulling back. "There are people." All he
   could think was she used to close her eyes, she used to tremble.
   His eyes drifted, watching the facades of the houses along the
   waterfront. Light came thin and latticed through the shut blinds, or
   the windows were dark and uncovered as if no one was home. He imagined
   people behind those dark open windows, sitting back against the
   furthest wall, watching the night.
   There was the veil, the silence: the almost purging drift of it.
   "I don't know what to tell you," he said, and her not looking up, but
   straight ahead and towards the sand, and him listening to it shift in
   their footsteps.
   "It's alright," she said evenly, and not hurt, and him not knowing
   what to do or say ever when she started to lie.
   "I'll be back before you miss me," he said, listening to the movement
   of the sand again.
   "When I was a girl I used to want to live on this beach," she said.
   "But not anymore," he asked.
   "No." she said. "Not anymore."
   "That's alright we couldn't afford it anyway."
   "It doesn't look the same as it used to," she said, and never lifted
   her eyes from the sand.
   In the morning they drove east, with the sun bright against the
   horizon. They traced their way back along the same roads: all
   different somehow, the desert flatness, the upturned boulders against
   the road, and the white crests of dunes gleaming in the sun. All of it
   seen before but from another angle, and the backward motion making it
   seem new and eerily familiar at the same time. He did not speak, but
   watched as they fell back through those landmarks with dry mouths, and
   felt the hum and shiver of the road run in reverse till they came
   through the glaring heat to places they knew. Farmhouse with the
   rotted fence and green hills against the pines, the world he knew
   materializing suddenly, snapping into focus the way it can when you
   know where you are.
   They turned the corner of the drive, the house seeming small, the sun
   sloping through a break in the clouds. The engine sputtered to a stop,
   and when the car door creaked open she stretched in the shade of the
   pines. The air was clean and cool and tasted damp like it would rain
   in the afternoon. He felt his lungs empty. There is never anything
   like coming home.
   He drank a glass of water, and put his tackle in the car.
   "Be home tonight," he said, feeling the dust of Sonora as he pushed
   his fingers through his hair. Her face still as he kissed it, and
   still again as she waved from the drive, and he thought of the rhinos
   sleeping far to the west in the hot shade of the afternoon.
   Flowers tremble beneath the starlight. You remember how it was; dark
   against dark, the still, shallow curves finding each other in the
   night, the petals black and damp. You felt it then, in the turning of
   limbs, in the quickening pulp of the heart. Don't feel love or the
   slipping burning purity of any true thing. Do you still taste that
   air, that fertile decay, bleeding its strange musk through the tram.
   The heat of it gone like milky bowls of rice wine, or the skin taste
   of salt, blossoms of apricot in moonlight. He watched the twin yellow
   curves vanish beyond the headlamps and lose their color, the red of
   the stones faded to nothing. The steep mountain roads darkened and
   A haze of moon glowed through the thinning clouds, and he felt the
   crisp fragrant darkness wrapped around him. It was comforting somehow,
   the blackness, and the dreary silent rain that fell like sparks past
   the streetlamps. He walked up the street in the cold gentle wind, and
   the trees whispering with wet branches, and he could see the lights in
   his house. He remembered he left his pole and tackle in the car, but
   felt too tired to turn back. He opened the door, and felt a stirring
   queasiness in his stomach. The lights were dim inside, but it was
   pleasant and warm. He saw her, and felt suddenly weak, and hollow. Her
   eyes had become heavy with sleep, and she stretched lazily on the
   couch. He came closer, towards the fire, and felt its warm crackling
   breath. She shifted silently on the fat white cushions, and curled
   like a cat in the fire's flickering glow. The rain had stopped, and
   droplets slid off the roof and past the window to the damp and curving
   ground. He smelled the rain through the cracked window, and saw the
   luminescent beads of dew that collected on the screen. He slid his
   cold white hands underneath her, and lifted her gently into his arms.
   She grumbled, half awake, but was soon relaxed and soft. She breathed
   slowly as he carried her back towards the dark of their bedroom.
   He couldn't see the clock, but it seemed he'd been lying awake for
   hours. He wasn't particularly comfortable anymore, but didn't dare to
   disturb her. He just kept looking at her, and secretly apologizing. He
   told her silently I love you, I love you, again and again. He meant it
   too. He stroked her hair, and in his heart thought of all the things
   he could say to make things right. This was the only time when
   everything seemed right, when she was sleeping against him. They
   didn't fight or speak, they only loved each other silently. He closed
   his eyes, and ran his fingers through her hair, and she kept her eyes
   closed and pretended to be asleep.


   Thunder on a Clear Day
   Eric Prochaska

   For a moment, the sky showers thunder and I can't hear him breathing.
   No heartbeat. Only the slight swelling of his chest, which lifts the
   weight of my reposing head, lets me know he is still here, alive, with
   me. The sky above is clear. Mechanical thunder from a jet, which I see
   miles distant from its sound, lows through these skies often.
   Supersonic: like a teenage summer love affair. Then the beating
   resumes. Distant, but not like the jet. More muffled, as if hidden
   beneath avalanches of barriers, trying to let someone know it is
   there. The beating is quick, almost frantic. It's always like that,
   even when he sleeps -- especially when he sleeps. Becoming desperate
   in dreams, anxious in nightmares, I don't know. Maybe when he sleeps
   his heart senses that somewhere in that inconceivable pile of
   barricades there is a weakness, a path, and it clamors all the more
   vigorously for freedom.
   Do I only imagine that his hair, his skin, still exude that faint odor
   of burnt motor oil, even on his day off? Waiting for him to wake, I
   reach over lazily and put the Tupperware lid back on the container of
   potato salad. So odd, that salad. Though I've always detested celery
   in my otherwise smooth potato salad -- the way my mother always made
   it -- as I made that batch I found myself slicing up the celery. Even
   as I was slicing it I thought that I didn't really want it in my
   salad, but I tipped the cutting board over the mixing bowl and pushed
   it in with the flat side of the knife, all the same.
   The residue of the watermelon like Velcro between my fingers annoys me
   steadily, but I can't reach the cooler to dip my fingers in the
   melt-water. So I just close my eyes against the steady sun and wrap my
   arm toward his head, toward the hair I would run my fingers through,
   if they were not so sticky -- if I didn't fear waking him.
   Shuddering abruptly, he awakes, forcing me sit up suddenly. It's
   nearly three in the afternoon on another Sunday, and although I am not
   working, I do not feel relaxed. I love his company, I guess, but
   sometimes I resent not being able to just be alone with me. He sits
   up, stretches a little, cracks his neck (I hate that sound), then
   reaches into the cooler for a beer. The can makes that crisp breaking
   sound when he opens it. He puts the can to his lips for a second, then
   pulls it away with a look of disgust and spits yellow liquid onto the
   grass, hitting the blanket we're on, too. "Warm!" he says, not yet to
   me, but to the surrounding animals, people, and trees which certainly
   have been awaiting his report. He tilts the can and impatiently pours
   the beer into the grass, watching with a scourging glare, as if he
   were punishing peasants for insolence. "Let's go get something cold to
   drink," he says, for the first time acknowledging my presence, though
   his eyes still haven't met mine. He gets up and heads to the car.
   Shaking off the grass and bugs and crumbs with a few quick snaps, I
   haphazardly bundle up the blanket, grab the cooler, and catch up with
   him. He's always like this when he wakes up.
   He has more than one "something cold to drink." It is around seven and
   he's not himself again. Or maybe this is his true self, and the sober
   guy is an alias. Anyway, the beer has gotten to him, so we end up at
   my place. With the curtains drawn, it's somewhat dark inside, so the
   blinking red eye on the answering machine is prominent. As he heads
   through the bedroom toward the bathroom I set the cooler just inside
   the kitchen doorway, with the blanket on top, then kneel beside the
   telephone table and press the "Play" button on the machine. The first
   is just a wrong number, so I fast forward through the annoying tone.
   As soon as the second starts, even before I hear the voice, I hear the
   same wetting of lips that I always hear at the beginning of her
   messages. So my finger skims across to the "Stop" button. Mother. I
   don't need this now.
   He's got sleep on his mind, but the last time his mind made a decision
   for him was before puberty. He seems to think he has to give me the
   lay-of-my-life every time we're alone. His front of super-confidence
   is just a coating to waterproof his weaknesses, I know. There I go
   again, pretending I can guess his psyche. Might as well guess people's
   weight and age while I'm at it, and at least I could charge a buck for
   the novelty.
   So in his stupor he gets his pants off, but leaves his shirt and socks
   on, and fucks me with his eyes open only enough to know it's still
   light out. I can't say it's my favorite part of spending time with
   him, but there's no sense in trying to stop him. That'd only spark an
   argument about whether or not I like having sex with him, which I
   usually do. Men are so fragile.
   Before he passes out in sweaty exhaustion and relief, he moans
   something about a perfect weekend. Maybe for him. Personally, I could
   still use that dose of peace that's been on back-order. I swing my
   legs over and get out of bed, covering him to the waist with the
   sheet. How is it that he can't get himself undressed, but all of my
   clothes are flung to the remote corners of the room? I take a white
   button-down from its hanger in the open closet and I fasten the bottom
   two buttons as I pick up my panties with the toe of one foot.
   His mysteries seem so near the surface when he sleeps. His eyes become
   gentle, forsaking the piercing glare always found there when he's
   awake. His brow relaxes, and everything seems calm, inviting, tender.
   . . vulnerable. I feel I could reach in and encounter that beating
   something that so desperately wants out. Or extract one by one those
   blockades, barriers, and battlements that permeate him. But I know
   better. I only suppose I know what I'd find, but can't be certain.
   It's only my fantasy. He's not mine to manipulate, anyway. Just a man.
   Just a good time. Just someone who will leave, not because of me,
   he'll say (although I know better), but "because of his job." Someone
   who wants to be a lover, but not in love. Who wants to know my
   everything, but does not know the meaning of "share." Who wants to
   know my everything not because he cares, but because he supposes that
   I want to tell him, and he wishes to humor my desires as long as
   possible. Without remembering my favorite flavor of ice cream, or my
   hometown, or why exactly I dropped out of college. Without caring who
   the last man was, or when I plan to settle down, or why I cry when
   that certain song is played. But asks me all the same, as if I had
   some need to expose my soul to him before sleeping with him. As if I
   needed to feel pain before pleasure, which, if it ever is pleasure, is
   only fleeting, soon to be replaced by the longing that it truly is: no
   more than a contribution to the scar tissue on my heart. Confusing me
   me into thinking that he's sincere, that he's the first one who won't
   leave. But leaving me with a lump in my throat some morning until he's
   driven out of sight and I can cry like I need to. That's what I really
   need to do: cry. Cry for all the bridges I've burned, always on
   accident, so young in my life, and the mistakes I feel can never be
   erased. Cry because he's just a man, but he seems so childlike, and I
   want to help him, hold him more than anything else, and comfort him
   and tell him it's all right, but I know I can't. Because he's just a
   I pull the door until it starts to get tight in the jam, then leave it
   ajar that much so the noise of shutting it completely doesn't bother
   him. If I wake him, there goes my quiet time alone. Stiff,
   once-upon-a-time shag carpet now resists my bare feet more like a
   cross-stitch piece which weathered a hurricane. Flat, matted patches
   here and there among the overgrowth of wild yarn. Could it ever have
   been plush, or anything less than abrasive? Rentals. Layers of other
   people's paint; cheap carpet the landlord found at a garage sale
   fifteen years ago; windows that don't open right or close securely
   because of those generations of paint; smudges on the plastic frames
   around the light switches and outlet plates -- some of which are white
   and some beige; dust along the top of the baseboards, which are
   typically the same color as the walls -- often white -- like they were
   being weather-proofed or preserved together, and which further
   foreground the dust because it's the only seam along the smooth scar
   of accumulated paint from floor to rain-leak-stained ceiling.
   I don't risk turning on the TV and waking him, but just put in a CD
   and play it low. The answering machine's red numeral and blinking eye
   plead for my attention as I pass, panties still in-hand, to the
   kitchen. Sorry, but you just want to ruin my peace. No matter how
   harmoniously I strive to accompany Annie Lennox, anyone within earshot
   can only hear a timid woman with bare feet flat against the
   non-acoustic grit of Linoleum in a kitchen with cupboard hardware too
   rickety to pose as a sound booth. As the water heats up in the
   microwave, I put on my panties and sit at the table, legs drawn up
   from the cool floor. Tilting my head back, I capture the proper angle
   and see in the rain-stain over my table the scene of a horse galloping
   up a cloud of dust. When the microwave bell rings, I wish I'd stopped
   it prematurely, just so as not to risk waking him. He'll be asleep
   most of the evening, and then won't able to sleep tonight, but that'll
   be his own fault. He'll whine about being too tired for work in the
   morning, but I'll have slept right through the old war movie he'll
   find on some cable channel, and I'll go to work fifteen minutes early
   and won't have to hear about it.
   Walking tenderly on the brown and gold pine needle carpet's worn path
   back into the living room, I smoothly stir the spinning island of
   cocoa under the water's surface. I could drink hot cocoa on an
   Indonesian beach in August. It's relaxation in a mug, for me. But a
   hot mug. So I set it on the glass-topped table between the rocker and
   the rattan catalog-ordered couch that I hate. It looked so cozy -- and
   was an affordable way to help fill up the living room -- but when you
   sit in it, you're cast back so you can hardly get out of its
   cup-shaped cushion. You have to really be planning on staying there
   awhile to make it worth the effort of getting back up. The
   dully-dust-coated magazine covers glance at me from their plastic
   cubicles -- those milk-crate style, stackable ones -- but fail to grab
   my attention.
   Pulling the curtains open I see the breeze has picked up and is
   buffeting the high wildflowers across the road. The walls pale to a
   shadow of white as the sun falls behind a cloud. Even when the sun
   reappears, the room stays somewhat dim because the sun is over the
   trees now. The day is winding down. Through the sheers I watch the
   neighbor's cat hop up on my car's hood to sunbathe. If I had clothes
   on, I might open the door and scare it away. Then a couple walks by on
   the sidewalk, looks toward the house, and I wonder if the man, whose
   glance lingers, can see my breasts from there. Still, I don't button
   up the shirt. Let them look. What would you say to that, Mother?
   That's why you called, right? To remind me to straighten out my life?
   Well maybe someone should remind you that it's my life.
   Without purpose, I ease into the rocker. The sheepskin cover is matted
   on the seat, but still softer than the carpet, and warmer than the
   sleeping air around me. The kitchen clock's tapping both defines and
   overpowers the taciturn ambience between songs. Lackluster. That
   framed print has got to go the next time I move. I'm sure I thought it
   looked fine before, but now its drabness (in fact, it's even cornily
   drab, like a parody of dullness) dominates the wall, which would be
   more interesting with only the nail's own shadow hanging in lieu of
   the picture.
   Jesus, it's exhausting trying not to look at that damned little red
   light. Come, come, come, come, come, come, come, its patient mantra
   repeats like blown kisses. No, no, no, no, no, I think, picking up the
   cocoa, giving it a last swirl and hugging it near my neck to feel its
   On top of the stacked milk-crate shelves lies a letter, collecting
   dust since Thursday. If I don't read it another will come, and when I
   don't read that one either Mom will call to see if I received them.
   She'll give me the same lecture over the phone as in the letter. So I
   know that reading it and writing back would be the easiest way, but
   maybe if I ignore it long enough the words will become bored and
   entertain themselves by re-arranging into sentiments that wouldn't
   offend or agitate me. They'd talk about the weather, and the Senate
   race, and the new sit-com on Tuesdays. But nothing about me. No
   pointed, wiggling fingers, cataloging whatever might be wrong with my
   life and the way I live it. Let's face it: such neutral words will not
   likely come from her pen. Not until I've been canonized will the words
   be benign. In the meantime, all is malicious.
   She doesn't even know about him. But she's seen them come and go and
   can guess. But I'm twenty-six years old, damn it, and I have a right
   to have sex. What would you say to that, Mother? Would you lecture me
   on the benefits of chastity?
   No. I suppose not. That's not your style.
   So what? Should I write you back? That'd be easier than calling you.
   But calling would get it over with sooner. I could just pick up the
   phone right now, dial you up and say, "Hey, Mom, what's your problem?
   Why do you think there's something wrong with my life? Because I don't
   go to church anymore? Because I dropped out of college? Because I'm
   having sex? Come on. What disappoints you the most about my life?"
   And what would she say? Would she critique every mistake I've made
   over the last few years? No, she'd be reserved. "Honey," she might
   say, "we all make decisions we regret."
   "But they were my decisions," I'd say. "It's none of your business.
   Why do you think I'm not happy? I have a nice place here." She'd never
   know it's only half true: she's never been to visit. "I have a good
   job at the trucking company. Not every college drop-out -- or
   graduate, for that matter -- becomes the assistant director of public
   relations for a national trucking company in only two and a half
   And she'd say . . . well, she wouldn't cut me down. She never tried to
   cut me down. She'd say something like, "I know that, Dear. I've been
   hoping for the opportunity to tell you how well you've done."
   Then I'd want to tell her she could have just called anytime, but she
   knows as well as I do that it's me who won't return her calls. So I'll
   drop that one.
   "Is it college, then? Are you disappointed that I dropped out? Is that
   it? Well it wasn't a total waste, you know. I can go back anytime I
   want to and finish. I've been thinking about that a lot lately. I
   might take some night classes," I'd say.
   Still, she'd be understanding. "That sounds like a good opportunity
   for you, Dear," she might say.
   "So," I'd say, "are you upset about my personal life? I know you wish
   I'd get married, but I'm just not ready. So maybe the guys I date
   aren't husband material, but someday I'll change and the right kind of
   guy will come along. But why can't you accept that? Is it the church?
   Is it all that chastity bull that the Bible goes on about? Well,
   that's your god talking, Mother."
   "My god?" she'd clarify, and I'd know I had her. "Honey, God is the
   same. For all eternity. He doesn't just go through phases like us."
   And I'd be ready for her. "That's not true," I'd say, calmly. I'd want
   to frustrate and flabbergast her with this one. "God's changing all
   the time. A few hundred years ago, women couldn't be ministers, but
   now they can be."
   "Honey," she'd say, too patiently for me to believe she was just
   trying to keep her temper -- so much it would make me want to chew the
   phone cord in half, "that's not God changing. That's people's minds.
   Yes, women can be ordained now, but skirt lengths have also changed in
   my lifetime. And even though our society has, for the most part,
   evolved into acceptance of these new ideas, that doesn't mean anything
   in relation to the immutability of God. Next year skirt lengths will
   probably change again. And the death sentence and abortion and drugs
   and the purpose of education will be hotly debated until after I die,
   too. But even if everyone suddenly agrees and the debate ends, it
   doesn't mean the solution was right or wrong -- not on any universal
   level. It just means we've reached consensus. And consensus is not
   Truth: it's merely justification."
   And then I'd hang up. In my mind, at least. She always has to be
   right. And using words like "immutable." She'd change this into a
   religious discussion when it's really just about me living my life.
   Drinking the cooling, last thick bit of cocoa, I take the mug to the
   kitchen and place it gingerly in the sink. As I return to the rocker,
   I pick up the phone and pull the slack cord from around behind the
   table, resting the phone in my lap, then closing my eyes to the music.
   One of those planes goes over and until the jet is ten miles away the
   only sound is the bombardment of waves of nothing against the ground
   -- like intentions tumbling and smashing from hopeless heights. I've
   missed part of my favorite song, but it doesn't matter: I have the
   feeling I'll be sitting here long enough to hear it come around again.
   I don't want to be in there, with him, not now. I don't want to go
   anywhere, do anything. Just sit and think about nothing, not even
   memories, and let things fall into place invisibly while I'm totally
   unawares. It takes doing that every now and then to keep going.
   The sounds of him getting up, then a groan as he goes to the bathroom
   without shutting the door because he never shuts the door. I crane my
   neck and see him emerge from the bathroom in only his t-shirt now,
   pausing long enough to put some underwear on and open the window for
   the cool breeze before going back to bed. He'll be out all night.
   Of course she'll call back. Leaving a message on a machine wouldn't
   satisfy her, and it doesn't tell her what I'm thinking. So go ahead
   and ring. I have some wisdom for you, too, Mom. You see, no one has
   what they want now. You have to be patient, because good things come
   to those who wait.


   Tower 147
   D.G. Harris

   Murray picked up a bottle of Knob Creek. He sat it back down on the
   dusty wooden table. He had on a heavy fur lined down jacket, and still
   the cold got in. Rob unscrewed the cap and took down a healthy glug.
   "Damn, that's good."
   "There's another, and a case of beer," said Murray. "Been saving the
   whiskey for something special, but I figure that ain't no more special
   occasion than tonight."
   Rob winced slightly on the words. He had another hit. He stared out
   through the tower screen, out over the endless vista of cold green
   sunset Oregon forest way out to the distant cascades.
   "How long you been a smoke spotter?" asked Rob.
   Murray kicked his feet up on the edge of the table. He scratched at
   his beard. "Oh, let's see now, this is my 9th season working for the
   park service. Worked for the BLM in Idaho a few years before that.
   Only job I ever heard of where you can sit around and get stoned. If
   you can handle not seeing hardly another human being outside of the
   general store over in Ashland for months on end. It's a pretty fair
   "I done this for 3 seasons myself and I don't mind them putting 2
   people to a tower now one bit. Gets boring staring out at that sea uh
   wood all day long. Nice to be able to share the load with someone
   "Seems stupid to me," said Murray. " I done called in about 30 fires
   in my 9 seasons. The way I figure it, you don't have to be looking out
   hardly at all. Seems to me once you been doing it a while that you
   just get the feeling. You could be taking a piss over the tower edge
   facing the wrong way and you'd just know there was something sneaking
   up from the other direction. You'd feel it. You could be asleep. You
   could be stoned into a coma and you'd know."
   "Maybe I just ain't done it long enough," said Rob.
   "Yeah, maybe so."
   Rob checked his watch. "It's a quarter to 7. Sun will be heading down
   soon. You think we'll see it when it happens?"
   Murray sighed. "We'll see it." He stood and stepped to the downstairs
   ladder. When he returned he had more beer. "Let's see how many of
   these we can kill before it happens."
   Rob didn't say anything. He popped a beer and took it all down. Murray
   did the same. Dozens of moments passed in silence.
   "You think it'll hurt?" asked Rob quiet.
   "Too quick. Don't think it will a bit."
   "You gotten hold of anybody on the Ham?"
   "Not since yesterday morning," said Murray. "But the last regular a.m.
   broadcast said it be up our way about 7 tonight. A few minutes till.
   That was yesterday morning too. Ain't been nothing but static over the
   ham or the radio since then."
   Rob closed his eyes but aimed them at the ceiling. "They're all gone,
   ain't they?"
   "Yep," replied Murray. Like a sigh. Like a leaf fallen down slow from
   somewhere way high.
   "Who woulda thought," began Rob. "Who woulda thought."
   Murray lit up 2 smokes. Handed one to Rob. "Man fucks around," said
   Murray. "Makes things that even nature can't. Man's always fucking
   Rob picked up a pair and poured both into him. Murray drank the beer
   slow, but finished off the good stuff quicker.
   Robs head began to float. "I ain't gonna look."
   "You wont have to. You'll know anyway."
   "It's coming up on 7."
   Rob picked up and quickly drank down half the 2nd bottle of the Creek.
   He immediately puked all over the floor.
   "Man, you got to slow down."
   "Ain't no time to slow down."
   Murray watched smoke rings blur up and around the lone bulb hung from
   the ceiling. A rush of wind breathed through the far off forest. He
   sat up."It's here."
   Rob stiffened. His eyes burst wide. "What? How do you know?"
   "It's like a clear fire. Like invisible smoke. And it's moving in
   fast. Real fast."
   Rob looked out. He looked at his hands. He looked at his boots. "I
   can't see it. Don't want to see it."
   Murray finished off the 2nd bottle of sweet brown. "I like drinking,"
   he said. "Always liked being alone. Don't dig people all that much.
   But Rob, I'm glad you're here."
   Now, Rob could hear it. Now he could know it. He tried to light a
   smoke trembling fiercely.
   "Here, let me," offered Murray.
   The forest began to bend. The trees began to be skeletons. They began
   to be dust. They were dust.
   Ferns in the understory withered and blew apart. A slight fog came in,
   between the trees and everything.
   "Here it comes," said Murray. "Just like a fire.
   Rob stood and stood at the opposite tower screen, facing away.
   Murray was watching. "Look at that baby come. Saw a fire move once
   like this. Only once. Had this storm of summer wind to push it.."
   The moss hanging on the eaves began to wither and break up. Rob heard
   a gurgling sound behind him. A bottle crashed to the floor. He winced.
   He just didn't want it to hurt.


                                                        About the Authors

   Amanda Auchter currently works as an editorial assistant at the Gulf
   Coast literary magazine. She is completing a degree in creative
   writing from the University of Houston.
   Her writing credits include poetry and short stories in Benchmark,
   Carillon Magazine, Coffee Press Journal, The Moriarty Papers, Rearview
   Quarterly, Red Booth Review, Shadow Voices, Southern Ocean Review, The
   Wolf Head Quarterly, Wilmington Blues, Write On!!, and others. She has
   also published with Sun Poetic Times, who selected lines from her poem
   .Omniscience. to appear in the 2003 Poets Market. She has published a
   novel, Burning Sins to Ashes (2000, Writer's Club Press) and has won
   several awards for journalism and personal writing, and was a 2001
   Helios featured poet. At present, she is at work on a second novel.

   Keith Felberg was born in Kodiak, Alaska in 1976. His father was a
   Bush-Pilot and a Game Warden, his mother a teacher. More recently he
   has spent time in the South-West, Europe, and Asia. Currently writes
   music for his band, and teaches English.
   Enjoys Travel, Music, and Binge Drinking.

   Elise Geither has had poems published in The Mill, Slant, The Artful
   Dodge, Whiskey Island, and The Blue Review, among others. Her short
   plays, "Zephyr House" and "The Poet's Box" were produced in 2001.
   "Zephyr House" was a finalist and placed at Lamia Ink! in NYC. Her
   experimental play "The Angel - A Poetic Interview" received a staged
   reading at Cabaret Dada's Black Box Theatre in Cleveland. In November
   2002, Elise traveled to Fuling, China, to complete the adoption of her
   daughter, Chloe. Elise continues to write and teaches at
   Baldwin-Wallace College. "Inspiration is in the poets around us."

   jj goss resides with her husband in central Massachusetts. Her work
   has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Happy, The New
   England Writers Journal, Net Authors E2K, Babel, Branches Quarterly,
   Amarillo Bay, Lummox, 52%, Copious Lightening Bell, Writer's Monthly,
   Poetry Superhighway, Entropic Desires, Red Booth Review, Sometimes
   City, Seeker, Kimera, Eclectica, Blindman.s Rainbow, Unlikely Stories
   and Slow Trains. Her short story, "Missing a Beat," was nominated for
   a 2001 Pushcart Prize.

   D.G. Harris writes in bars and has been doing it for the last couple
   of years. He's gotten a few hundred works knocked out in late night,
   smoke laden rooms. In his words, "It really is the only way." He was
   born and raised in So. Cal., and he's just hoping to stay alive or at
   least keep off the streets long enough to make a little cash. "It's a
   tough profession in a tough world. But it's the only one to be in. In
   the mean time I'll light up a smoke, have another beer, and see if I
   can get this damn pen to put out one more."

   Dean Kostos is the author of the collection The Sentence that Ends
   with a Comma and the chapbook Celestial Rust. He co-edited the
   anthology Mama's Boy: Gay Men Write about Their Mothers, a Lambda Book
   Award finalist. His poems have appeared in Boulevard, Chelsea,
   Rattapallax, Southwest Review, Barrow Street, Poetry New York, Oprah
   Winfrey's Web site Oxygen, Blood and Tears (anthology) and elsewhere.
   His translations from the Modern Greek have appeared in Talisman and
   Barrow Street, his reviews in American Book Review, Bay Windows and
   elsewhere. "Box-Triptych," his choreo-poem, was staged at La Mama. He
   has taught poetry writing at Pratt University, Gotham Writers'
   Workshop, Teachers & Writers Collaborative and The Great Lakes
   Colleges Association.

   Kelly Ann Malone is the mother of three active boys. She also has a
   wonderful husband and a full time job as a Project Analyst in a Cancer
   Research Department in the health care industry. She has been writing
   since she was around twelve years old. Her poetic influences are Ogden
   Nash, Dorothy Parker and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Some of her
   published credits include York University's School of Women's Studies
   Journal, Cappers Magazine, The Rearview Quarterly, The Penwood Review,
   The Wesleyan Advocate Magazine, Free-Verse Magazine, The Street Corner
   magazine, Promise Magazine, Poems and Pulsar Ligden
   Poetry Society.

   Elisha Porat, the 1996 winner of Israel's Prime Minister's Prize for
   Literature, has published 17 volumes of fiction and poetry in Hebrew
   since 1973. His works have appeared in translation in Israel, the
   United States, Canada and England. The English translation of his
   short story collection The Messiah of LaGuardia, was released in 1997.
   His latest work, a book of Hebrew poetry, The Dinosaurs of the
   Language, was recently published in Israel.

   Eric Prochaska teaches English in South Korea. "Thunder on a Clear
   Day" (Volume 10, Issue 1) is part of a collection started several
   years ago and recently completed. Aside from The Morpo Review, Eric's
   short stories have appeared in such places as InterText, Eclectica,
   Wilmington Blues, Fictive, Comrades, ReadTheWest, The Sidewalk's End,
   Palimpsest, Dakota House Journal, The Tumbleweed Review, The Woolly
   Mammoth, Split Shot, and Moondance.

   Durlabh Singh is a poet based in London, England and has been
   published widely in anthologies, magazines and in e/media.
   He has four books of verse published, the latest being CHROME RED
   (ISBN 1898030464) His aim is to revitalize English poetry with new

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           Our next issue will be published September 1st, 2003.