"Indeed, there was filament inside her life."

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Issue 14: The Double Issue

Issue 13: Free Form

Issue 12: The Necessary Ear

Issue 11: The Necessary Eye

Issue 10: Out on a Limb

Issue 9: The Missing Body

Issue 8: The Lily

Issue 7: Passages

Issue 6: No More Tears

Tim Earley


The carnies refuse to use anything
for the purpose God intended.
That is their way of loving him.
Little children and little lovers
stand around a long table skirted
with chicken wire. Numbered holes,
the size of a midget's fist,
line the table. A wooden box sits
in the middle, a bingo hopper on top.
A hirsute carnie leans over and cranks it,
hands you a numbered ball
for every dollar you give him.
The moon hangs, a pale, milky orb in the sky.
Teeth chatter like tossed keys. Or maybe
it just seems that way. In lieu of real drama,
boys with dirty fingernails slip their hands
up the backs of their girlfriends' sweaters,
oh, the bubblegum, the bubblegum skin.
This is a different universe, but salvation
is no less difficult to imagine.
The carnie pulls a string, opens the box's door.
A rat, a big rat, waddles out, back hunched,
sniffs left, sniffs right, scurries around the table.
The girls scream. The boys scream.
The rat disappears, squeezing itself
into a dirty midget's fist.
The boy who wins grins a stupid grin.
Ecstasy is hard to understand.
His girlfriend gets a furry space monster.
He gets a lukewarm hand job behind a tree.
The carnie whistles.
He has shown us what might try to save us.
The boy wonders what will happen
if ecstasy never ends.


Sister Poem

My sister skipped among her Eden patches in a gusto of bells.

She lied expertly about bees.

Indeed, there was filament inside her life.

She did not eat words she did not love.

She could not decide what to do with her hair.

She married a man with flecks of silver in his eyes.

He was not, as the street youths say, a good man.

She danced in a documentary film once.

She was not, as the street youths say, an accomplished dancer.

She bicycled a lot and was far smarter than me.

Sometimes to make us people

She chased me around with a hammer.

She had the bluest teeth ever.


Country Poem #13

With little to do but spleen, with little to do but pancreatic angers, with little to do but sinus angels, with little to do but oddly-colored bruises, with little to do but lengthwise scars, with little to do but palpitate & shiver, with little to do but vomit grass, with little to do but inspect beneath the stoop for the feces' healthy sovereignty, with little to do but firmly press the testicle or breast, with little to do but push the tooth back in place with the tongue, with little to do but the duodenum, with little to do but the chromosomal excess, with little to do but the uvular cough and infirm synapse, we spent much of our time mooning over the apothecary. I got this one bad tooth treat everything like a mandate, Uncle said.