Month: January 2013

New Year’s Prayer

By Arthur Heifetz

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Our Father Who Art in Heaven,
stay there
with your retinue of
saccharine angels and saints,
orchestrating
the celestial fanfare,
while we remain below,
content to breathe
the pine-filled air,
to feel the wind caress
the napes of our necks,
to see the sun
illuminate the hills
as if every morning
were the first time,
to sense the ground
beneath our feet
and not above our heads,
sealing us off
in darkness and silence
from everything we love.
We tally up our losses
and our gains
to find that overall
it’s not half-bad
to be alive.
Amen

Arthur Heifetz

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Hollow Bones

By Joshua Bouchard

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She pours through the doors of the coffee shop near the corner of Keele & Dundas like
molasses—alone.
—–Her lips are slathered in strawberry-pink ice cream; she hand-rolls a cigarette, her
hair knots in an up draft.
—–One by one, she opens a handful of sugar packets, pouring the contents on the
table; she puts a straw to her wind-cracked lips and blows out an outline of a mountain,
humming like a harmonica trapped in a hurricane. Her moist tongue then outlines the
shape of a hip bone, then the CN Tower.
—–Dragging her fingers along the linoleum finish, she recreates Van Gogh’s Starry
Night. When it’s done, she forces her hand through the white grain like a monk through a
mandala.
—–Everything is impermanent.
—–A pigeon flies into the window. It dies.
—–I once saw a dead magpie in Calgary. With rocks tied to its legs and body with
school-grade pipe cleaners, it died in pain. I photographed it and studied the
decomposition of its wings while heading North through the Ice Field Parkway, the great
gash in Western Canada. I studied it like the short stumpy legs of Deedy from the angle
of between her thighs.…

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The Lesbian Haircut

By Chelsey Clammer

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You are nineteen. It is a year after you broke up with your first girlfriend and
now your first girlfriend is standing above you as you kneel on the ground.
And while she is your ex now, she is still your friend because you need her.
Specifically, you need her to shave your head.

She shaves your head for you, and you finally feel butch—like a real lesbian.
As if there is a lesbian norm. And if there is one, then you are it with your
shaved head.

You have finally decided to shave your head because the older woman you had a
crush on, Emma, simultaneously broke your heart and pissed you off. This is
how you rebel. This shaved head that you know Emma would hate. This shaved
head that you actually love.

But you cannot get the thought of Emma out of your mind. She stays inside your
brain so much that you can’t do anything else but wallow in the words she last said
to you—that she never wants to talk to you again. You will remember she said this
because you did something that made her mad, that made her think you were some
silly little girl she didn’t want to waste her time on, though you will forget what it was,
exactly, that you did to her.

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A Real Smart Boy

By Mitchell Grabois

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The minister was over for dinner
Our precocious five-year-old son
thin blonde hair flying off his head
leaned over the table with an intent expression
and asked the Reverend
Do you know that there are over a hundred-thousand Gods?
…and some of them have elephant heads?

I wondered:
How did he come up with this shit?
A powerful imagination he had
I couldn’t see it as a good thing
especially after what happened next

The Reverend
caught by surprise
inhaled a piece of brisket
He choked
choked to death actually
neither me nor my wife knowing
that maneuver when someone chokes

My wife ran out the front door
her grey and blue plaid dress flying behind her
but by the time someone got there
–the veterinarian
who’d been seeing to one of the neighbor’s calves–
it was too late

The Reverend lay on the floor
his face blue as an elephant-headed God’s

My son learned that there is information that should
not be shared
secrets that need keeping
My son learned that elephant-headed Gods don’t want
Baptist preachers to know about them
They wanted their elephant-headed secrets kept close

Mitchell Grabois


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