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11. Featuring: Ashley Welch

+ Yu-Han Chao + Bill Drennan + Gordon Scapens + Stephen C Middleton +
  Arun Gaur + Misti Rainwater-Lites + Graham Burchell + Mathias Nelson +
  Geoff Stevens + Paul Tristram + Helen Kitson

Flush

I am
obsessed with
evens he
said I
won’t even
put toothpaste
on the
brush without
flattening it
smooth with
the thick
of my
thumb or
eat toast
with clumps
of butter
hanging at
the top
left corner
un- melted
I said
  But
  we
  are
  all at
  odds

Currents

Glinting in my eye
The cold river ripples gold
We ebb and vanish

Erie Basin

We sat and watched as
the thick rusted chains lay
against the moss that
we had carefully tread to the
place

where we once watched
an old man with a gnarled smile
fish under a green umbrella by the
water that was suggestively low
and glassy, peddling

against
the concrete that had greyed all
too quickly.
The rain
misted at my ears as you
told me it was gone.

Into

All our words from loose using have lost their edge
-Ernest Hemingway

Edge Edge Edge Edge into into Edge Edge
Edge Edge Edge e d g e into Edge e d g e
  of the abyss
we slip slope
stumble slant
into
recession
deformation nation
on the
Edge Edge Edge Edge into into Edge Edge Edge
E d g e e d g e into e d g e

To Take Home

On the way home from the Lake House there was a Caravan
on the side of the road. An old woman lived there. She made
Tamales all day and sold them to the passing traffic. Authentic Tamales, wrapped in
corn husks, $2 each. My mother usually bought 20 and would freeze half.
We sat on the plastic chairs laid out as a road-side
restaurant and ate a Tamale each. The masa that held the shredded
meat was soft and warm. The best bit was peeling the corn
husk from the dough. After, we would drink a glass of lemonade
and the old woman would give us each a fat pickle wrapped in
a paper towel to eat on the drive home.

Lake Fork

 a memory

3 pronged coves
and Texas BBQ
sauce and
a hacked-up
catfish coated and
fried / Fire
ants nipping
at ankles
and the murky
push of mud under
the water / Smores
of sticky mallow
and Graham
crackers
on a rotting
log where the
smoke
fogs your eyes.

First

Where do you belong? I was born in Texas...but
I moved to...always leaving Texas. I don’t admit it
readily now, Texas has too much bad press. It invites
more questions from people I don’t really want to
talk to. I have more memories of Colorado so
sometimes I think that’s where I belong.
Thats where I met my best friend,
had my first kiss, got drunk for the first time. But
there are other firsts in my life that can’t escape the
Texan heat. My first shoes were pink cowgirl
boots, decorated with glitter. I caught my
first firefly, met my two brothers and ate
the Mexican food I still love for the first time in
Texas. I’m told the first colour I could name was
turquoise, not blue or green or red. I picked
my first bunch of Indian Paint Brushes in my
first back yard. In Texas.
But I won’t go back there.

Descend

We fade with each day
The indigo sky still burns
On shadows that fall

Modern Charity

He sits under
a soiled cloth in
the thick rain that
daily coats the
streets reminding
him to appreciate
the sun

when it
peeks out and the
bare legs will tread
his drier home. One
copper coin and a
jam sandwich from
Martha who visits
before catching the
42 back

to the place
she hates, the one with
square desks,
paper stacks and boxes
of bics. She taped a
copy of Larkin’s Toads
to her fading
computer screen,

and reads it again,
thinking of herself
and him and the
difference between
hoping someone
will buy
him a cup of tea.

Chemical Ali

Anfal genocide
and a cartoon
name to take
the sting out
of the war
crime smell
being the
2nd best for
Them will do
when the
rope is craving
and we
stand impassive
and announce
the toll

Paranoid on 31st Street

The man that
stared at
me before
we left for
the place that
you were
taking me told
me to beware
of fences and
my mind
turned upside
down counting
the planks and
the spokes
through the
condensed
window and
the gaps and
awful ticking
eyes were
following and
you were
yawning that
horrible gaping
yawn of yours
that spreads
like bleach
on a
fluent tile,
rancid.