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  volume 1. issue two  
 
Feature
A collection of poetry
by Patricia Wellingham-Jones

from Mongolian Art Exhibit

I turn a corner, stunned now by faces / on the wall—masks of deities, shamans, / in papier-mâché, carved wood, stuffed skin. / Black brows pull down over glaring eyes, / red mouths stretch in snarls or gentle smiles. (more...)
POETRY
Patricia Wellingham-Jones
Isabelle Ghaneh
Todd Heldt
Pamela Miller
Joan Dy
Lina ramona Vitkauskas
Michelle Bitting
Arthur Joyce
Adrienne Lewis
Anne Durant
Kathryn Ugoretz
Cheryl Stiles
Ellaraine Lockie
Arlene Ang
Ellen Wade Beals
JeFF Stumpo
Lita Sorensen
Andrena Zawinski
Rebecca Clark
Jim Coppoc
Carly Sachs
CREATIVE NONFICTION
Siri Steiner
Theodore Worozbyt
Hal Ackerman
VISUAL ART
Gretchen Skillman
Shawn Sargent
Rebecca Harper
Concetta Ceriello
Patrick Tucker
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The Courtship
by Kathryn Ugoretz

Hot water fills
the sink. In the cupboard
there’s a small jar

of mushrooms, quiet
in brine
for that ghost

longing to be fed.
Why despise
the woman I was—the body

quickening not quite
her own? My daughter has started
to tell time, while I ache

for the crescent
moon, the last plate, washed
and dried.

What did I know then
of the nature of my own desires?

                      ~

He said he wanted to open me up
and watch my heart beat. I despised
my innocence, his blind
hunger for it. My sacrum pressing

towards the table’s edge—
his passion forming me
into the sublime.
I named it love, that longing

to descend as he practiced a shocked
pleasure    the blade    the burn
of him as my eyes grazed
spines on his shelves

    Kant    Rilke    Heidigger
my body tied to the table.
When he    the first    entered, I imagined
a balloon leaving the green earth

and loathed my mind for the cliché.
I had fondled the thought
of him—older, wiser—his adoration
a strange cocktail,

until it became ordinary—act
of sacrifice, rage knotting
my wrists, stainless steel
testing skin, the cellar’s boxes

draped with dark
cloth, exposed
pipes channeling a damp
pulse. I resented his handwriting fixed

in margins, sentences marked
with blue ink. Curled in his arms
near firelight, I said I wanted
to go home. To be forgiven.

He angered the body
to him    spread and bent forth

to a snarling you bitch
you owe me this:

My mind shifted through stone
passages    left the body

against the table and hurried
into the cedars. I slept near

a row of mushrooms breaking
the green floor.

                      ~

I cannot wait until he’s dead
to find a way back to rue
St Louis
, the oak that shades

the creperie, its raised roots
cradling a British cannonball.
It was summer. I was a student

in a walled city. A French
braid     a peach dress    the world
an apricot in an open

hand. Our empty
plates smeared
with sauce,

he spoke of 18th century
architecture
while I pocketed

an acorn. It lives
in a shoebox
with old letters, scraps

of lace, desire
for warm bread. The night
will dry the dishtowel, the sliced

moon agree:
it is so difficult
to distinguish passion from despair.



Kathryn Ugoretz's work is published in Madison Review (winner of the Phyllis Smart Young Poetry Prize), Blue Mesa Review, Sonora Review and forthcoming in Bellingham Review. She also received second honorable mention from the Dana Awards and was a “Discovery”/The Nation Award semi-finalist.
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