Advice for Walking in Falling Snow

By Ace Boggess

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Let wind music carry you in what direction it chooses,
whispering its howl against stung ears.

From behind, white streaks by at peripherals
as though you’re travelling backward through a starfield.

Feel your hair glossed by highlights, damp, &
fresh melt grooving your cheeks where tears might rest.

Take this tranquil journey in a.m. dark,
if only a few feet to fetch the paper.

Pause. Now, look up at the arc lamp
where you’ll see it best: tickertape for your brief parade,

loose confetti, a dazzling haze of glitter.
You can take both calm & chaos with you

indoors to observe through a window
as the verdant flaming undergrowth disappears.

Ace Boggess

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Cover to Cover with . . . Jen McConnell

By Jen McConnell & Jordan Blum

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Jen McConnell is a fiction writer and poet. Her work has most recently appeared in Buck Off Magazine, Luna Luna, Mused, and the Blue Lotus Review. Her debut collection of short stories, Welcome, Anybody, was published by Press 53 in 2012. She’s currently working on her second collection. She earned degrees in English and Philosophy from the University of California, Irvine, and her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College in Vermont. Be sure to visit her website, too!

In this episode of Cover to Cover with . . ., Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum speaks with McConnell about her story “Yorba, Yorba,’ her MFA, publishing, and mentor experiences, and more!

Jen McConnell

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see me : know me : give me a nametag

By Lauren Bender

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undercover like
the backs of my legs in stockings
black soft in memory

weren’t you just saying
you were afraid?
I should have kept the transcript

I did keep the transcript
but I’m too embarrassed
to tell you

it isn’t normal
to save such little moments
make of chair

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Frogs Saved My Life When I Was a Baby

By Kevin Stadt

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My wife and I lay in bed, the windows wide open to the Korean summer night. A breeze blows into the dark room, the breath of the mountains and rice fields. We listen to the raucous cacophony of frogs echoing through the countryside, thousands upon thousands of amorous amphibians calling for mates. They’re so loud it seems frankly impossible, like they’re all right outside my window or there’s some kind of hidden surround-sound speaker equipment in the room projecting frogsong at full volume. It’s too hot to close the windows, and I know I’ll have to put in earplugs to sleep. But for a few minutes I just bask in the music of it.

My wife, Hyunju, speaks just loud enough that I can make out her words through the background tangle of croaking. “Frogs saved my life when I was a baby.”

I laugh, staring up at the shadows cast on the ceiling by a passing car’s headlights. “How’s that?”

As she unpacks the details of that story, I think back over the years we lived with my wife’s parents, and a whole constellation of confusing moments suddenly snap into sharp focus. I finally grasp the previously obscured logic of the ambient attitude toward eating in this house of Korean farmers.

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Cover to Cover with . . . Tom Kirkham

By Jordan Blum & Tom Kirkham

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Tom Kirkham is “a 30-something music obsessive and part-time explorer from North West England,” as well as a musician and songwriter in Silent Alliance, among elsewhere. Most recently, his the author of Pop Life – The Story of a Minor Musical Expedition, which finds Kirkham detailing how, after the deaths of David Bowie and Prince, he ‘learned to love music and life again via an intensive, year-long trawl through the back rooms and bars, concert halls and stadiums of the live gig circuit, searching for transcendence, or at the very least, an unobscured view.”

In this episode of Cover to Cover with . . ., Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum also puts on his music critic hat to talk with Kirkham about his process and motivations for the book, his love for artists like Bowie, Prince, Kate Bush, Steely Dan, coping with anxiety, depression, and the dangers and polarization of modern society, and much more!

Tom Kirkham

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