Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hi! Check out YB's brand new home, here.

The first three issues will continue to be housed where you are now. Check them out too!

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Issue 3: Index

June 2010

Molly Gaudry
commentary (interview)

Kyle Hemmings

Frederick Jackson

Jeff Klooger

Dorothee Lang

Sherry O'Keefe

Sergio Ortiz

Sergio Ortiz


What are you made of,
mime with painted palms
and sweaty bare
feet? How much longer
can you take in the air
all that empty space, the caiman
leaves for you to breathe?
Frail frame, proceed
and tune the white organza
mesh for the screen-painting
your imagination seeks.
When the canvas dries
don’t forget to wipe
the crowded cell
in which you’ve
always lived.


The poem “Transparency” is a reflection on how little input most of us receive from others to help us form ideas about ourselves, and boost our self-regard. So much is overlooked by family, friends and colleagues, that we are often left with the sensation of being locked up in a cage, an animal reminiscing about the freedom of the wild. We populate that cage with our imagination; an imagination that struggles to find a balance between fiction and reality. For some this sets into motion the creative impulse, but for others this struggle can lead to true isolation, apathy, and danger. Our imagination is both artist and predator. I believe the question that can help us keep a vigilant eye on this is: How transparent do we really believe our motives to be?

Sergio Ortiz is an educator, poet, and photographer. He has a B.A. in English literature from Inter-American University, and a M.A. in philosophy from World University. His photographs will appear in The Neglected Ration and The Monongahela Review. He has been recently published, or is forthcoming in The Battered Suitcase, Zygote in my Coffee, Right Hand Pointing, Temenos, and others. Flutter Press published his chapbook, At the Tail End of Dusk (2009). He is from Puerto Rico.

Sherry O'Keefe

Five White Pickup Trucks

I made a deal with myself when I saw five white pickups
in a row stopped at the Lake Elmo traffic light. My kids
say I don’t notice things. (But I am aware of patterns in
the street.) Four blue jeeps, three purple bugs strung out
at the light means I drive to work along a different route.

To notice things. To pay attention. Break up my routine.
This time I drove over the Rims, down into the valley on
a tore up road. I waved to the flagman with a pink ribbon
on his hazard-yellow vest. The dozer was carving so close
to Yellowstone Kelly’s Grave I shivered, yet noticed

the earthmover had rubber tires and a 12 foot wide blade. When
I worked in trucking, I was paid to pay attention. Oversize
permits, special routes, small red stop signs for the pilot car.
It was good to feel in synch again, to be present in the moment.
My change from the Burger King lady was warm in her cold hand,

little kids in the crosswalk skipped instead of walked. I pulled
into work, feeling vibrant and alert; joined the men looking out
the windows at our parking lot. Did I notice, they asked,
the circus was in town: three gray elephants being watered
50 feet from where I parked my truck.


When I drive, I travel and when I say travel I mean my mind takes off. Almost always with music going on. Often I am right in the middle of a good song right before I arrive at work.

I drive past work and make a series of right hand turns (I am personally against left-hand turns. As this poem indicates, I was once a safety director for a heavy-haul carrier so I know Left Hand Turns Are More Risky. Plus I have an inner scaredycat issue going on) until the music stops.

Sometimes, the music never stops.

If the good song is still going on when I drive home, I park my ride (aka Derby but now we call him Jack on account of his punched-out left headlight area, as in one-eyed-jack). I sit inside and listen to the music until the traveling stops.

Inside my house, my dogs and my kids visit about what song they think Sherry/Mom is still listening to and when it might be that she will finally come into the house. I understand my cattle dog is sure I listen to “Inagodofdavida” nonstop, but the shepherd votes for “Avamariaohmeingott”. My kids know me best though; they know the radio was never even turned on.

Sherry O’Keefe, a descendant of Montana pioneers, a mother of two, sister to four, cousin to dozens, credits/blames her Irish upbringing for her story-telling ways. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Switched-on Gutenberg, Terrain.Org, Barnwood Poetry Review, Avatar Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Babel Fruit, Main Street Rag, and others. Her chapbook, Making Good Use of August was released in October 2009 from Finishing Line Press. While her manuscript, Loss of Ignition, is making the rounds, she blogs here.

Dorothee Lang

Society of Swans

She had drifted
           into this place before,
many times, her head ducked low,
           her thoughts surrounded
by a spiral of options
           they bestowed her,
drew her into their ring
           then left her
           like a new species
raised by the world
           in this bed of feathers,
eyes covered
           by a folding so warm
          & blind