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 Volume #9                     April 15th, 2002                    Issue #2
 Established January, 1994                      

                                             CONTENTS FOR VOLUME 9, ISSUE 2

     I Don't Know Her Last Name Either  . . . . . . .  Russ Bickerstaff 

     For Julio  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Michael Ansa

     canal street, eleven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Luis E. Munoz

     Play the Enemy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Ian Randall Wilson

     A POEM FOR DAPHNE, NO. 117 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Duane Locke

     Marbled Composition NOtebooks  . . . . . . . . . . .  Richard Fein

     Avatars Descending . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Glenn Osborn

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


 Editor                               +                       Poetry Editor
 Robert Fulkerson              The Morpo Staff         Kris Kalil Fulkerson                     +           

 Associate Editor                                            Fiction Editor 
 Lori Abolafia                                                  J.D. Rummel                                   


 _The Morpo Review_.  Volume 9, Issue 2.  _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 2002, The Morpo Review.  _The Morpo
 Review_ is published in ASCII and World Wide Web formats.

 All literary and artistic works are Copyright 2002 by their respective
 authors and artists.

 ISSN 1532-5784


   I Don't Know Her Last Name Either
   by Russ Bickerstaff

   She showed me her turtles
   she showed me her frogs
   she filled me in on all the intimate details
   of the checkered history of the furniture in her apartment
   we played with the magnetic poetry she had made by hand
   we watched a fishing show that she'd taped off the Independent Film
   while drinking scotch on the rocks
   it was around the time she started to list her high school
   from years ago
   I went up to use the bathroom
   I couldn't find the light switch
   so I eased nature in the dark
   and I realized:
   I'm going to love her
   and it's not going to matter
   in the long run
   sometimes the best way to enjoy a good auto accident
   is to avoid it.


   For Julio
   by Michael Ansa

   The freshly scrubbed, pubescent-
   Puerto-Rican boy who confesses love
   To me tonight on
   A crowded dance floor
   Doesn't know
   His name is Julio and he is
   Twenty Two
   He calls me "beautiful" and likes
   "Older men"
   "Older, black men"
   I laugh and want to be kind to him
   When he asks for
   "Only a kiss"
   Strangely tonight,
   My grief is for him-
   Because he wears that hungry look
   Because he doesn't yet know
   This is not a place for love
   But a house of prayer
   Because he doesn't understand
   You must sometimes walk away
   Because he is me
   A thousand different nights ago-
   "I love you too."


   canal street, eleven
   by Luis E. Munoz

   the procession slips
   through the rain
   the sea of black umbrellas,
   a white dress guiding
   grandmothers and unwed nieces
   to the steeple, clouded
   his hand, malfunctioning,
   shielding his face
   from black soot
   and ash
   as they walk down
   canal street,
   unable to distinguish
   new york drops
   from his eyes or the rain


   Play the Enemy
   by Ian Randall Wilson

   Because Jimmy says so
   Five younger boys huddle
   fall chilled and planning,
   lines in the mud drawn by sharp sticks
   send Billy this way
   Kevin to cover our flank
   Robby on the point.
   We're behind my house
   near a scatter of trees,
   the shadowed woods beyond.
   Our breath jets out
   in plumes of steam.
   We are excited.
   We are scared.
   Jimmy is calm.
   We are executing maneuvers
   designed by von Clausewitz and Tsun Tsu,
   the names difficult to pronounce,
   classic runs of Army confrontation
   laid out in dusty books that Jimmy reads.
   We never lose.

   Because Jimmy says so
   Five warrior children
   charge the south slope
   up a shallow incline, sliding
   on the rotted cover
   of dead leaves and loamy earth.
   We weave through evergreens
   hurling pine cone grenades
   shout our Semper Fi.
   The opposition has no chance,
   the air blues with the pop
   and crack of cap rifles;
   Christmas presents for boys.
   No prisoners are taken.
   We never lose.

   Because Jimmy says so
   we build ice forts and a maze of trenches
   with cardboard overhangs
   that traverse the Feldman's sidewalk
   to end up at the Smith's.
   We take advantage
   of the terrain's natural cover--
   those are Jimmy's words--
   laying in supplies of high-piled hardened snowballs,
   and hot chocolate for drinking during truce.
   The air stings our cheeks red
   we wait for Jimmy's command.
   Then, from across the street
   with a shout and smash
   the battle begins.
   We hurl our snowball cannonades
   as fast as we can grab and toss
   high over the plow-heaped banks
   a white barrage flung at the Enemy beyond.
   Those brave boys who venture out
   in desperate dashes
   across the no-man's land of Aspen Ave
   are easy targets for Jimmy's sure-thrown hand.
   We never lose,
   until our parents call, Dinner.
   We never lose.

   His letter comes to me
   in the safety of my college dorm
   between classes
   with foliage raging into full color
   during sweater weather
   when the girls still show some leg.
   Here, I plan my strategies
   for bringing Mary to my bed.
   Here, I devise ways
   of answering the calculus tests.
   Here, I read the words
   of dead poets
   analyze their rhyme,
   examine their reason.
   His letter comes to me
   in the safety of my deferment
   behind the defense of bad knees
   and an uncle with a friend
   who knows another friend
   who put in the right word
   with a senator on the right committee
   with the right influence
   for the right amount
   at the right time.
   Jimmy doesn't have those friends.
   It's hot,
   he writes,
   so hot the air is weighted.
   The jungle smells like nothing
   he's known before.
   Sound is swallowed whole
   yet a branch's crack
   gives away a position in a trigger flash.
   He hasn't seen the Enemy, he says,
   but three men in the squad were picked off
   on patrol yesterday
   and another died
   when he stepped on a mine;
   a censor has blacked-out the details.
   The strategies don't work, he says.
   The information is always wrong,
   Intelligence always gets it wrong,
   and how can you pull a flanking maneuver
   in a jungle so thick
   it takes five minutes to hack away five feet.
   The Enemy disappears.
   New men arrive
   old ones die,
   others rotate out.
   His feet swell
   from jungle fungus,
   he can smell himself.
   The strategies don't work, he says,
   he's just trying to stay alive.

   I don't believe in the war.
   I think the country is wrong,
   I think Jimmy was wrong
   to go when the rest of us found ways
   to stay behind.
   But I don't tell him this,
   I write about the high school game,
   some friends of ours
   that moved away,
   the woods behind the house.
   My letter comes back marked deceased.

   I have thought about him,
   less and less,
   until I see my sons
   behind the house.
   At the instant the sun folds
   and the outline of their shadows
   run from the trees
   Jimmy isn't dead.
   His name isn't sandblasted
   onto black granite
   in a mall somewhere in Washington.
   Where Jimmy is
   warrior children still run
   through phantom woods
   throwing pine cone grenades
   making gun sounds with pointed sticks
   rushing forward in frantic charges
   to sweep aside their friends
   who this afternoon
   must play the Enemy.
   Where Jimmy is
   the strategies work--
   the flanking maneuver,
   the interlocking fields of fire,
   the enfilade.
   There is no friendly fire misdirected
   gouging out dirt craters of rock and mangled bone
   where the squad's men used to hide,
   there are no dust-offs to ambush
   there are no shit-covered pungi sticks
   there are no hills to climb in pouring rain
   where every wave of new men are repulsed
   by tumbling tracer rounds,
   casualties do not run 70%,
   there are no sucking chest wounds,
   there are no screams in triage,
   no one cries for Jesus
   or his mother,
   no one worries about body counts,
   or punching his ticket,
   or short time,
   or the coming Tet.
   Jimmy doesn't die
   in a firefight
   for a patch of ground
   we win today
   and give back tomorrow.
   Jimmy doesn't die
   in a firefight
   where the choppers can't get in
   where the radio's down
   where the Lieutenant is dead
   no one's in command.
   Jimmy doesn't die
   by a single round
   through the heart
   that stands him up
   like a heavy bag
   before he slumps into the grass.
   Where Jimmy is
   there are only golden afternoons
   where sunset holds off another few minutes
   enough time for a last skirmish
   a last battle among friends
   a last game
   because Jimmy says so.


   by Duane Locke

   So admired by the drugged, absinthed, syphilitic Baudelaire
   Are still there,
   High up, distant-vaporous,
   To be loved
   By women
   Who spent most of their lives in kitchens or brothels.
   This is what clouds are for, not rain,
   To be
   The only lovers of Baudelaire,
   And the only lovers
   Of these housewives who spent their lives in kitchens,
   Or these whores who spend their lives in brothels.


   Marbled Composition Notebooks
   by Richard Fein

   Islands of white dot the two black hard covers.
   Hardness, marbling, permanence.
   Lasting words deserve being chiseled in marble,
   the psalm of David, the to-be-or-not-to-be of the Bard, Lincoln's
   timeless address,
   would fit well on the heavy-thread-bound paper within.
   Schoolchildren are wrongly assigned these notebooks,
   for the pages are unforgiving of error.
   These pages must be ripped from the binding,,
   with the remaining scraps bookmarks
   for every repented word, sentence, paragraph, or page.
   Only certainties should be inscribed in such notebooks.
   A looseleaf is more relaxed.
   Its pages are already mutilated with trinities of holes.
   On each page something new can be scribbled,
   then with a click of the three metal rings
   each page can be shuffled among previous pages.
   Regretted sheets are slipped off from the rings leaving no trace.
   Don't choose one over the other. Both books are needed.
   First in a barely legible script, jot down all rambling
   and slide the papers into the looseleaf.
   Be patient. Add some sheets. Remove even more. Be patient.
   Finally, carefully copy a few lines
   from the precariously connected looseleaf papers,
   a lifetime's distillation,
   into the tightly threaded pages between the composition covers.
   If the marbled musings are then thrown into the winds,
   the few leaves they're inscribed on will not scatter.


   Avatars Descending
   by Glenn Osborn

   When we came into the club that night--the night that Zinc reinvented
   Avatars Descending--the place was already on fire. The opening band,
   Timequest, had apparently outdone themselves, and the bubbling buzz as
   we moved through the crowd with our instruments was not what we were
   used to--it was warm and musical, but it wasn't about us.
   We'd built our rep over five years on the road. We weren't the Rolling
   Stones, but people in three or four states knew our music. When we
   walked into a club, people cheered. But not tonight. Tonight people
   just moved aside and kept talking as we pressed through. People seemed
   to hardly notice us, in spite of the fact that we were an hour late.
   The owner, Frankie, intercepted us about ten feet inside the door and
   collared Lanny. Over the noise of the crowd I heard him say, "You're
   the luckiest man on earth tonight." He pointed at the stage, where the
   first band was almost done knocking down. "They blew this place away,
   and when you didn't show, they blew it away again. If they didn't have
   to leave for another gig, you'd be out the door right now, man. Go
   ahead, you guys. Let's see if you can top that." Then he just walked
   back behind the bar.
   It took us the usual half hour to set up and we could tell something
   was different. Nobody seemed to care if we were there or not. They
   were talking and dancing to the jukebox and ordering beers. Usually
   there's a kind of lull while you're setting up and people seem
   impatient. Tonight they didn't.
   Neither did I. I was the reason we were late. I was the one who had
   punched Zinc and bloodied his nose and I was the one who refused to
   play that night until Zinc apologized to me for fucking around with my
   girl Juice. You can't go fucking around with the chicks of other
   bandmembers. Zinc knew that as well as anyone.
   Well, he wouldn't do it. Wouldn't apologize. But then Juice came into
   the room and told Zinc to leave, and she didn't say it very nicely.
   This changed the complexion of things. After he left, Juice told me,
   Look, honey, he was just flirting, and so was I. We're all friends,
   and shit happens. You oughta drop it, Marion.
   I hated it when she called me by my real name. What I did, though, was
   pick up the case for the Roland and walk ahead of her out the door,
   down the hallway of the hotel and out into a cold November night. I
   decided to deal with the Juice situation later. As soon as I climbed
   in the back of the van and shut the door, Lanny floored the fucker and
   set me down hard.
   When we were finished setting up, Chip put Frankie on a mic at the
   mixing board and the guy seemed to have forgotten our tardiness. After
   he spouted a list of upcoming bands, he said We're very glad tonight
   to present a band you all know from their CDs on Record Records--and
   here he started screaming our band name over and over--Elevator Music!
   Elevator Music! Elevator... He didn't seem to comprehend the irony of
   the name, which was only to be sneered.
   Chris just cut him off with a cymbal crash and we were into the first
   chorus of our most popular song, Elvira Madigan's Problem. I figured
   about one percent of the people in the room knew who Elvira Madigan
   was, but who gave a shit. The song was getting some air play in
   Dayton, our home town, and East Lansing, Ann Arbor and Detroit. And
   this was Toledo, gritty gateway to the sea. They knew us here.
   But they didn't give a damn. You can tell when you're not going over
   and that night you could smell it. Some people stood close by the
   stage and watched--drunks and maybe the local music reporter--but we
   had none of our usual crowd control.
   We finished the song and Lanny plucked a few bottom notes, like he was
   sending out an SOS. Then he took off the Fender and strapped on the
   Gibson. It had a raunchier sound that he usually saved for the last
   couple of songs. I flipped a few switches on the keyboard and bounced
   out a couple of arpeggios to test the sound of the room. Chris rattled
   through a series of reggae rim shots. Zinc just stood there, his
   Stratocaster waving a small arc in time with some beat playing in his
   We played dance numbers and we played ballads, and Zinc bled into the
   mic. I almost felt some sympathy for the bastard. Yeah. The Devil.
   When you've got a dead crowd in a club, the best thing to do is to
   play some covers. You learn that fast on the road. So we hit everybody
   from Curtis Mayfield to Talking Heads to Warren Zevon. At one point,
   out of the blue, Chris tapped the first few slow beats and we were
   into CSNY's Guinevere, for Christ's sake.
   Playing three-minute pop songs, you burn through a lot of music real
   fast. We'd only been on the stage half an hour when Lanny blew into
   his mic his usual spiel about tipping the waiters and ordering another
   round and that we'd be back in a few minutes. I watched Chris and
   could tell he was ready to keep on playing until we had them under our
   spell. The way it worked pretty much every night, that was what he had
   in mind. But Lanny unstrapped and walked off the stage. The rest of us
   followed quickly. The crowd couldn't have cared less.
   Chris went to the bar and ordered a margarita. Lanny sulked over a
   glass of water. Zinc and I walked out the back door and into the
   blackness, now crossed at a sharp angle with blowing snow. I'd seen
   Juice in the lobby and just waved. She understood.
   Normally, Zinc doesn't say much. He even has a Bob Dylan attitude
   about his music: It speaks for itself. He doesn't have to explain.
   Lanny gets us organized, and we recognize him as the leader of the
   band, but Zinc is our creative genius.
   Choosing to speak a few syllables, he said to me, Bounce, stay loose.
   That's all he said. Then he took off running across the parking lot. I
   saw him crouch and slide like a base stealer onto a little drift, then
   make a snow angel and laugh his ass off. I went back inside and looked
   for Juice.
   She was at the bar with Aim--Amy--Chip the sound man's lady and driver
   of what we called the Groupie Van, a 1978 Chrysler sedan that looked
   as if it had been on the set of a Mad Max movie. While Aim drove,
   Juice kept the books and made arrangements. She decided where we'd
   stop to eat and the motels we'd stay in. Sometimes they were joined by
   a genuine groupie, for Zinc or for Chris.
   I walked over to Juice and Aim and didn't know what to say. I felt
   sheepish and guilty but still angry. Just to fill the silence I asked
   Juice for a cigarette, then went back to the stage and stood behind
   the Roland, watching the crowd, catching occasional looks and sending
   back a honky tonk riff in exchange. Chris and Lanny and Zinc ambled on
   together and I knew they'd come from the van and a line of coke.
   Lanny started it off. Pluck, pluck, cluck, cluck. Funky Chicken. We
   played a couple more covers. Van Morrison, Into the Mystic. Fats
   Domino, Blueberry Hill. Steely Dan, Haitian Divorce. People began to
   dance again. They forgot about Timequest and just boogied. That's what
   they'd come there for and we were louder than the jukebox.
   My left hand was sore and swollen. Zinc's nose looked broken and
   streaks of purple and red were spreading under his eyes, but his hands
   on the fret board were sure as the feet of a mountain climber, only
   much faster. After a ballad break for Boz Skags's Pain of Love, from
   "Slow Dancer," which brought out all the damaged romantics, Chris
   tapped us into the first bar of our own Avatars Descending. Lanny
   whomped out enough bass to cover the deficiency I felt in my left hand
   and we caught each other's eyes and smiled. Zinc strode across the
   stage like he always does on that song, which made the crowd push
   toward the stage in mock belligerence.
   Then Zinc did something totally out of character. Over Chris and
   Lanny's continued steady beat and bottom, he stung out the first few
   notes again of Avatars Descending. But like it was a hymn. Chip picked
   it up with a snare ruffle and Lanny dropped in with what looked to
   Chip, at the mixing board, like a boa constrictor undulating on top of
   a parade of fenceposts.
   All of us sing, so all of us had mics. Lanny looked at his as if it
   were there to interview him. In the one beat he missed, Zinc shouted,
   "G!" as if pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
   Avatars Descending is in the key of E minor. It rumbles with blues
   undertones through a lament about the death of leadership and descends
   into an anarchic battle, just to prove the point. At the beginning, it
   always gets people dancing and at the end it always makes them go for
   another drink.
   Before the echo of Zinc's demand had faded, I hit a 10-finger G Major,
   held down the keys and stabbed the wah-wah peddle with my right foot.
   Chris hit a couple of triplets and danced off into a ska shuffle that
   Lanny knew instinctively to lope along on right behind the beat. The
   moment was like people have reported in auto accidents or tornadoes;
   time slows down and you can feel nanoseconds, see things happening as
   if they were, ironically, moving slowly.
   I could go on for an hours about those few seconds after Zinc shouted
   "G!" but what's more interesting started with the smile on Zinc's face
   the moment he saw what we had collectively done with his command.
   Many musicians have said, and I'll confirm it, that music is better
   than sex. When the band is in the groove, a Ferrari cranking on all
   twelve cylinders, there is a palpable joy that spreads from player to
   player and then from one dancer or listener to another and you can
   literally see a wave of pleasure spread out over the room.
   Zinc set off a tsunami that night. Some aural god--Pan, perhaps, or
   the Pied Piper--spoke directly to his hands and bypassed his brain
   entirely. From where I stood behind the Roland, I could see him
   leaning into the crowd like a man trying to find his way in the dark.
   But what came out of the amps and flowed out through the Marshal's and
   into the room was like the snap of a whip.
   Crack! And you could see every face in the room snap toward the stage.
   Then Zinc proceeded to deconstruct Avatars Descending, playing it
   backward and upside down. It was the same song we all knew, same song
   the crowd knew, but no one had ever heard it before. Not like this.
   He played like the avatars the song was about, like a cross between
   Django Reinhardt and Robert Johnson...
   ...that crippled gypsy,
   your deadly crossroads...
   Same song, same lyric, but the burn Zinc put on it that was
   like a whole new song. Where he came up with switching to the key of
   G, I don't know, but the effect was like spraying butane onto a
   campfire. First, a deep, funky mist arose and then a hissing, the
   vibrato he forced onto the strings of his guitar. Chris switched to
   brushes and Lanny took a step back, plowing a deep furrow under Zinc's
   lead. There was a button on the Roland, one of a hundred, right above
   Calliope and just under Anthem that I couldn't read because of the
   sweat in my eyes. I'd never hit it before. I thought it said Blood.
   What the hell.
   I played a vamp over the top of Zinc's solo. The synthesizer screamed
   like a wild animal. Zinc turned only his head at me, his body still
   leaning into the crowd. I could see in his eyes a question: Are you
   following me? Will you follow me? I answered with a flattened seventh
   that overrode his guitar for a moment then sank like a handkerchief
   thrown onto the crest of a wave. Yes, is what it said.
   No one knows, not even Zinc, probably, what he did with his pedals,
   five or six of them, and his wah-wah bar and the volume controls on
   his guitar. Blazing notes from outer space burst from the Marshals
   like a field of asteroids.
   Out on the dance floor, couples broke apart and groups of people
   formed and danced toward the stage. Then the whole dance floor became
   something like a single couple dancing. They weren't dancing with
   themselves and they weren't dancing with one other person. They were
   dancing with each and every person on the dance floor. They were
   dancing with abandon. Even the shy girls and the nerdy guys came out.
   It was ecstatic for the crowd and it was ecstatic for the band,
   co-conspirators in the ecstasy of music.
   Lanny was the first to rise above the stage. I watched his feet go
   limp as if he were swimming, floating a foot or so over the jumble of
   cables. Then all of us followed, trusting entirely the force that
   lifted us, father music, mother harmony. Zinc shot forward and drifted
   like a mad cloud over the dancers, and the whole place pushed beneath
   him and began to move in synchronicity with our music. The barstools,
   empty of people, gathered and bent themselves into shapes resembling
   trophies. I saw Chris and his kit levitate, the drums rising to become
   vibrating planets. And then the majesty of our music pulled me toward
   the ceiling, gravity impotent. Looks on the faces of the dancers made
   me think they might be penitents at a joyous, tearful shrine.
   Zinc's final note, an A-flat seventh delivered from on high and
   processed through his bank of effects, sounded like the scream of a
   dying bull, an avatar descending. That note granted each of the
   dancers an extra day of life and provided resolution to their lost
   demands. It looked to me as if we had just panned a pie plate full of
   twenty-four-carat gold, which I would gladly have hurled back into the
   river just to have kept that feeling alive for another five seconds.
   That night we treated them the way the wind treats a flag. When we
   finished, they were spent, cruising numbly past the nirvana they'd
   come there for, crashing onto the dance floor, smiling.
   And when the music actually ended, hours later, I still had the Juice
   situation to deal with. But on that night, after that delirious magic,
   that proof that music is better than sex, Zinc could have my girl.
   Hell, he could fuck my mother and I wouldn't care.
   It was only a few months later, though, that the tensions overwhelmed
   us all. I told Juice to take a hike and that left Aim alone in the
   Chrysler, which infuriated Chip, and that, in turn, set up a
   side-taking battle that left us all bloody. By mutual decision, we
   called it quits. Another great band joined the parade of broken dreams
   along the musical highway.
   After Elevator Music broke up I used to see Zinc play now and then,
   standing in for any band that needed a guitar. In fact I saw him only
   a couple of months ago, outside the Social Security office. Said he
   was on tour with a warm up band for Phish. I laughed. Phish doesn't do
   warm up bands, I said. They just get out there and put on a show. What
   the fuck are you talking about, Zinc?
   It was a joke, Bounce. I don't play anymore.
   I thought about that night when I punched him. I felt the weight of
   that in what he had just said, but when he walked off without saying
   another word, I thought, Jesus, can that be true?
   If I'd had a guitar in my hands right then, I'd have thrown it at him
   and yelled, Play this, you asshole! And it's impossible for me to
   believe he wouldn't have picked it up the way any guitar addict would
   and checked out the craftsmanship, the quality of the pegs, the
   distance of the strings from the fretboard and that he wouldn't have
   tested it, wouldn't have burst through one of his leads--maybe from
   Avatars Descending. But I didn't have a guitar to throw and Zinc just
   kept on walking.


                             about the authors

   ** Michael Ansa [ ]
   Michael Ansa is a native of Ghana and a high school English teacher in
   Boston. He also teaches Ashtanga Yoga and is in the process of
   compiling a series of poems on immigration and spiritual/ cultural
   displacement entitled, "The Year We Forgot." Two of Michael's poems
   from this series can be seen in the January 2002 issue of

   ** Russ Bickerstaff [ ] 

   Russ Bickerstaff is a performance poet based out of Milwaukee,
   Wisconsin. He has been performing for 6 years. He is currently working
   on a couple of novels that no one else knows about. He is also more or
   less unemployed. There are exactly thirty teeth in his head. He has a
   BA in psychology, which he received at the University of Wisconsin at
   Milwaukee in July of 2000, shortly after identifying a few structures
   in the dissected brain of a sheep. He has been engaged to be married
   twice. In neither circumstance was he the one who popped the question.

   ** Richard Fein [ ]
   I have been published in many web and print journals. I'm considered
   by most literary critics to be the greatest poet since Rod Mckuen and
   Jewel. But the highlight of my life was when I was arrested in
   communist East Germany for espionage because of an inflatable doll in
   my possession. But that's another story.

   ** Duane Locke [ ]
   Duane Locke lives alone in a two-story decaying house in the sunny
   Tampa slums. He lives isolated and estranged as an alien, not
   understanding the customs, the costumes, the language (some form of
   postmodern English) of his neighbors. The egregious ugliness of his
   neighborhood has recently been mitigated by the esthetic efforts of
   the police force who put bright orange and yellow posters on the posts
   to advertise the location is a shopping mall for drugs. His alley is
   the dumping ground for stolen cars. One advantage of living in this
   neighborhood, if your car is stolen, you can step out in the back and
   pick it up. Also, the burglars are afraid to come in on account of the
   ** Luis E. Munoz [ ]
   Luis E. Munoz is an English literature junior at Arizona State
   University outside Phoenix.

   ** Glenn Osborn [ ]
   Glenn Osborn is a freelance writer, designer and photographer living
   in Perrysburg, Ohio. He is a founder of the Scrawl: The Writers Asylum
   ( ), a collaborative workshop for writers, and
   has been managing editor and designer of the website's ezine, The
   Story Garden ( ). He operates
   HandsOnWebsites, a site design firm at
   and recently has developed a successful photography business marketing
   prints of his digital photographs of flowers
   ( ).

   ** Ian Randall Wilson [ ]
   Ian Randall Wilson is the managing editor of the poetry annual 88: A
   Journal of Contemporary American Poetry. Recent work has appeared in
   The Alaska Quarterly Review, Spinning Jenny and Spork. His first
   fiction collection, Hunger and Other Stories, was published by
   Hollyridge Press. He is on the faculty at the UCLA Extension where he
   teaches classes in fiction. He is also an executive at MGM Studios.

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             Our next issue will be published June 15th, 2002.