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photo by Lindsey Thäden



Issue 106


Brad Rose
Guest Editor



Click on the right hand pointing to move through the issue.




José Angel Araguz
Hugh Anderson

Larry D. Thomas

Gareth Writer-Davies
Irene Mitchell

Ben Rasnic

M. A. Istvan, Jr.

Bill Winter
Michael Estabrook

Lynn Mundell

Joan Prusky Glass

K Srilata

Margaret Young

Kurt Luchs

Peycho Kanev

Layla Lenhardt

Jimmy Pappas

Lindsey Thäden



The Note

The Note

by Dale Wisely

We are pleased that our friend and frequent contributor Brad Rose agreed to guest-edit this issue. Thanks to Brad for his hard work and keen eye.


It's 2017, as you have noted. I would feel celebratory about the end of the painful and surreal 2016, but for my concern that 2017 may turn out to be, as the kids say, even suckier. 


I admit that I am increasingly thinking of the world in spiritual concepts, like good and evil. Why spiritual? It's too cheap and easy to say here are the good people and here are the bad people. So, I abstract it into forces of good and forces of evil and, no, I haven't seen the new Star Wars movie. This sort of dualist approach may not represent reality, but I have no idea what is real. I am a believer in the idea that we all have to have a narrative to live by, and so I'm going with this one for now.


One problem with the good/evil approach is that no one gets up in the morning and thinks, hey, I need to get some coffee in in me so I can start pursuing my evil agenda. So, that's how you can get, say, a White House full of people who are pursuing some evil agenda who aren't necessarily evil people.


All I know is that much is at stake. Evil has to be exposed and confronted. My prayer for you and yoursand for me and mineis for righteous combat and for peace, for confrontation and reconciliation, for fear and courage. 





Brad Note

I want to thank Dale Wisely and Laura Kaminski, and all their colleagues at Right Hand Pointing for honoring me with the opportunity to edit this issue. I am especially indebted to all those who submitted, as well as to all those who will read this issue. I was impressed with the quality of imagination and skill of the submitted poems and fiction, and wish I could have included more than the selection contained herein.

by Brad Rose

The Guest Note




Think knitting: one voice over itself, into itself.

You work through the air where lie and truth pass each other.

Until the thread forgets it was ever alone, believes itself a crowd.

The person who believes and the person you are becoming.

And the other, who first told. Each makes a thing, to be worn out.

Naos Explains Lying

José Angel Araguz 




Hugh Anderson 

Signs of life in the stark demarcation

of light and shadow, a starfield so dense

it blankets the barren hills like snow.

Fire on the horizon, distant sun

threatening to rise. Signs of life:

whoever visited here stretched a fence

across emptiness, opened a gate

from sun to shadow, walked away.

There is not even wind.  Just waiting.

Above the Tree Line




Larry D. Thomas 

What few leaves

the Chinese tallow still holds

are oxblood as the heads

of corpulent men choking.

Its rickety branches

clack with the frenzy


of doves, jays and sparrows

ravaging its waxy,

popcorn-shaped seeds.

Their BB-sized brains

are barely big enough

to tip them off


that suet’s

the last cushion

between the wind

and the nasty,

drafty hollows

of their bones.

Fat Chance




Gareth Writer-Davies

in the market at Marrakesh

a trader

has a tray of human teeth


nobody asks

where he got the teeth from


but if you need a tooth

he will fix it

with extra strong adhesive



you can have gold

for five hundred dirham


for now

you smile

browse patiently through the tray of grey teeth


a man loses his illusions

then his molars


touch your tooth with your tongue

you shall find the ache

On Human Teeth




Irene Mitchell

Who was I once

and why have I been corrupted?


The mind of an analyst cannot discover

who I once was,

what caused my stride to break

while on leave at the prison yard,

how I had to disappear

until someone from Amnesty came to ask,



Open the guarded doors, I beg,

to where the fronds are a frilly green in the glade,

sky a pampering reprieve.


There flies the weightless crane,

feathered still and negotiating with the winds

about how best to go the vital distance.

Prisoner's Lament



I’ll take a tin roof anytime

during a rainstorm

else what is the reason

for these ears?

Said a Very Wise Man

Ben Rasnic





M. A. Istvan, Jr.

Two palsied underbites in diapers,

said to have minds of infants, flirt

on a first date through a facilitator.


Bracing their wrists, she guides

their hands, like Ouija planchettes,

to letters on the table before them.





Bill Winter

It's red, of course. Heavy, rather than solid, with a very fifties look. The alarm is loud and shrill and rather tinny. You can't shut it off sometimes.


The face features cheery Chairman Mao, who beams beneficence upon all. He sits in a yellow sky twixt 10 and 11. (AM, one presumes. It's always morning in the New China.) Across the bottom, some earnest Red Guards raise books—the book, Mao's book—and wave them like Red Sox fans cheering on Big Papi.


The clock runs slow, to give the Five Year Plan an extra year to work.


Communist Clock




Michael Estabrook


Whenever I find a spider in the house I leave it

alone but sometimes one shows up in the bedroom

and my wife says “either that spider goes or I do”

and at times I confess I’m tempted

to leave the damn thing right where she found it.

But I never do, and neither would you.




Lynn Mundell

She wants to write about her aunt’s facial hair, but she’s barely finished the first sentence—“My aunt’s sideburns rested on her face like brown sleeping mice”—when the phone rings and it’s her father begging her not to disturb the dead. Next, she decides to write about her brother’s hoarding. She’s typed only “My brother owns 4,000 wire hangers, easily” when his head pops up on her computer screen. “You’re embarrassing me,” he says, before eating all of her words, spitting them out in a paper wad on her Persian rug, and disappearing. Searching far, far back, she remembers hearing of her great-grandfather’s draft dodging, but the story idea is barely formed when the doorbell rings. Outside is a man in a blue suit carrying a briefcase, who says, “I’m sorry, but ‘Great-Grandpa Willard’ is a registered trademark and you can’t use it.” Returning to her desk, she begins to write about a man killed by his brother in a knife fight over their beautiful lover, a first cousin who’s pregnant with their father’s baby. Relieved, her relatives return to their day-to-day, while the made-up family hides out in a motel, hoping she’ll never find the rest of them.






Joan Prusky Glass

After 65 years of marriage,

she holds his ashes in a tin box

on her lap, while the coffeemaker

sputters and drips in the kitchen.


He wanted to be tossed

into Lake Michigan,

but too bad, she says.

He’ll have to settle

for the pond down the road.


Then she snickers

and wails at the same time:

the strange sound a sea lion

makes while clapping

her flippers, during a show

gone on entirely too long.


What Remains




K Srilata 

All evening, I have been considering boxes.

Hand-crafted ones, compelling and impractical,

the sort that jam easily.

I drop my earrings into one of them,

its blue-bird shimmer

gone before you know it.


I have lived in them all my life,

boxes in which I have become,

with a dangerous degree of precision,

this, that, or the other.


I have noted their contents,

Not bad boxes to be in and yet,

I have clawed at their lids

like a death-row prisoner.

Boxes Have That Effect




Margaret Young

Envelope, please. The needle, too.

Steamed open, counting clouds. Jumped off


cliffs like mothers warned us

not to. Don’t look back at


any dark horse, dead wife, don’t think 

about an elephant in your mouth.


This year’s winner for best mask, most 

convincing smile in an adapted history.

Acceptance Speech




Margaret Young

so much too-muchness, like magenta bracts

the berries dangle from, pink as the T-Mobile

lady’s dress and motorcycle. Fruit black 

as patent leather in long clusters, stems

Fibonacci-twisting up into enormous stalks,

sapling-thick by August, whatever

bitter medicine the shoots have

if you boil them twice is ripened then

to poison.






The heart goes out,
the heart returns
undone by doubt.
And then unlearns.



The Heart Goes Out

Kurt Luchs





Peycho Kanev

I am hammering this rusty nail

to the shaking tool shed


and I am hoping to make it



and I thought I was a fool

for doing that


but I kept on with the hammer