Preview Issue 01.01.06

Backyard | by Andrea Avery

Hidden Pulleys on Balcony Four | by Aaron Belz

The Bars of Our Fathers | by Thom Fletcher

Deep in the heart of Chesterfield: A city rat considers the suburbs | by Chris King

Coffeehouse | by Michaela McGinn

This Way Chuck Berry | by Thomas R. Raber

Sonnet: PSA | by Tony Robinson

Stardust in a Phrygian Key | by Stefene Russell

Sophomores | by Julia Smillie

The Ghosts of Winifred Moore | by Mike Steinberg

Four Days Behind the Iron Curtain, or, I'm With the Band | by Mary Kaye Tonnies

Late Night Radio | by Brett Underwood



Stardust in a Phrygian Key | by Stefene Russell

Alleys are my city's secret pockets.
I want the whole sky and all the wine in your house
and all the wine in your neighbor's house.
I can't stop taking shortcuts.
I'm going to find a way to fall in love with that shattered
window fixed with masking tape.
I'm going to draw a broken line in dressmaker's chalk
from my pink collar to my pink heart.

In my city the most beautiful buildings are mortuaries.
I'm going to shoot a gold arrow through the tiny white steeple of Victory Tabernacle at
 the corner of Itaska and Alaska.
I'm going to play "Jesus is my Crossing Guard,"
on my jaw-harp and plant chamomile in everyone's yard
while they're away at work.

My city's chorus goes like this: for rent, for rent, for rent, for lease, for rent.
With the sidewalks still hot but the sun gone down,
I'll chuck off my plastic sandals and roll around
in the scrubby grass, wash my mouth out with petals.
That burned-out window is a black mouth and starlings
keep blowing out of it into the nightime.

In my city the Virgin is the stone goddess of lawns.
Tiny old car lots, strung with lantern-lights,
make me feel like I have tears in my eyes.
I'm walking down my marble porch steps,
flanked by geraniums unbloomed and windchimes made from spoons,
a plastic American flag
in one hand and a spinning yard daisy in the other.


Stefene Russell was born in Salt Lake City, but will never leave St. Louis. She is working on a cycle of St. Louis poems that do not include any cameos of the Arch, though there are plenty of ghosts, attics, moss, rocks, cars and bricks.