Cover art by Jude Dippold
New Poems from:
Ted Kooser (13th Poet Laureate of the United States)
“Ohio Blue Tip”
Marge Piercy (Arthur C. Clarke Award Winning Author)
“An Argument of Crows”
“I Observe the Climate Changing and I Complain”
Jack Ridl (2013 INDIES Award Winning Poet)
“Sitting on the Back Deck of Our Houseboat
in Key West a Few Days After Jim Harrison Died”
“It’s What He Does Instead”
New Fiction From:
Phillip Sterling (Author: In Which Brief Stories are Told,
Wayne State University Press, 2011)
Massachusetts poet, Marge Piercy, remembers when houses were heated with coal. My family referred to our coal furnace as “The Octopus”.
The Air Smelled Dirty
Everyone burned coal in our neighborhood,
soft coal they called it from the mountains
of western Pennsylvania where my father
grew up and fled as soon as he could, where
my Welsh cousins dug it down in the dark.
The furnace it fed stood in the dank
basement, its many arms upraised
like Godzilla or some other monster.
It was my job to pull out clinkers
and carry them to the alley bin.
Mornings were chilly, frost on windows
etching magic landscapes. I liked
to stand over the hot air registers
the warmth blowing up my skirts.
But the basement scared me at night.
The fire glowed like a red eye through
the furnace door and the clinkers fell
loud and the shadows came at me as
mice scampered. The washing machine
was tame but the furnace was always hungry.