A Poem by Zack Shipp


I walked step by step upon the damp brick road
I began to see the silhouette of a man
3 AM every morning I stroll to the water
I try not to look back, but I hear his steps

The fog was so thick I couldn’t see a block ahead
Who would be out right now?
Five years , and no one has been out to join me
Fear has taken me over

I could smell the ocean mist
the fog began to clear
Confusion arose, as did the fog
I turned around and screamed to fight

I was close
I was suspicious
I was being followed
I was alone

A Poem by Chrissy Tu’ua

Eight layers of briefs and gym shorts
Sweatshirt was extra large
Khamel tugged at his pants
He started yelling
Voices were yelling and people were panting
A woman was crying
Blood was pouring
He rocked pitifully back and forth
Afraid to move
People screamed and fell to the ground
“He’s got a gun!”

A Poem By Frankie Klein


Shots fired at Seal Beach
The smell of hair dye and gun smoke
Nine innocents grasped and held
We didn’t think we would be touched
The ripping of family fabric
School is very quiet today
We walk with a sad knowledge in our mind
This kid in science was crying next to me
I just looked at him
His eyes are still red
And tears are still present
Lives are still shattering
And I still don’t understand it
I feel the melancholy spreading
Starting in my chest
I didn’t even know the mom that died
Or her son
Or any one of the nine
But it happened
And I’m standing in the middle of it’s chaos

Francesca Klein is a saucy sixteen year old who lives in Long Beach California and only Long Beach California. She is made of cutouts of Rolling Stone and Spin magazines. She wanders in the astral plane and doesn’t come back for days.

A Poem By Tamara Madison

Without the Camera

When the camera dies what’s left are senses and memory:
Waves rolling their white arms toward shore
Stars moving in clusters over the dark sea
Morning traveling through spring’s green mountains to light the waves
Seals’ dark bodies in silhouette as they rest, noses up, in jade-colored swells.

When the camera dies what’s left is scent:
Wild rosemary, sage’s purple columns of bloom,
Mustard that colors your shirt as you pass
Wild radish with its white and purple stars
Mesquite’s scent of chocolate, vanilla, smoke
The sea, all salt and mussel, and the tar that blackens the rocks.

When the camera dies what’s left is vision:
Men with whining toy airplanes that swoop and twirl above
the baseball field, to anchor their owners into this fine spring moment
Turkey vultures looping in the deep sky, wings outstretched
like flying sombreros of death, with crows capering behind
laughing, jeering, one of them carrying a mouse’s warm body
in its sharp beak over the fields of red-tipped grass
The sun casting a brilliant parting glance over the silky waters.

Tamara Madison teaches French and English in a high school in Los Angeles.  Her writing helps preserve her sanity.  More or less.

Three Poems by Jessie Carty

On certain fowl, they are the feathers clustered on each side of the head. Perhaps from the dutch mof (mitten).

As clothing–a tunnel for the hands. See Little House on the Prairie. From Middle French moufle.

In sports it is to miss a catch, to bungle. From Medieval Latin: muffula (a fur lined glove).

When used as slang: the covering hair or the internal channel.

Think decoration, think warmer, think hot potato, think clever euphemism that is a double entendre which boasts a double edged sword.

If seen in a dream then girls you have good luck looming.  But boys? Be warned of this image for you it means your girl has found that good fortune elsewhere and you’ll soon be cold, not cool, ice-edged.


In the Mail Room, Making Copies, Again
Have I ever held an axe? If not, then, how can I question weight? The only weapons I borrow have blades more like grass that can nick you if you do it just right.  But, finding the right angle is difficult. Have you ever tried giving yourself a paper cut on purpose? Maybe these minor weapons are never enough to be comparable to a razor; but, could they be enough to make you consider the causality of the paper cutter and your hand oh so very near.


Short Order
He loved the names: sunny side up, over easy,
but he could only scramble. Hollandaise. Bolognese.
Mayonnaise. He didn’t have the chemistry for it;
couldn’t even calculate the right dash on which
to rest his light to dark toaster dial. He could
eat though and build sandwiches, fruit cocktail.
He was a master of the non-cooked, the mixing
and/or piling of ingredients which made him more
like a construction worker than an architect.


Jessie Carty

Two Poems From Jonathan Bauer


How can you go about your day,
When I’m shouting out in misery?
All you have is fairy tales,
And all I have is me.
My valentine’s coming,
And when they find me,
My fingernails will cut the sails,
And stop this sorrow ship.These lights make passion in the storms.
I can’t stay in the forest anymore.
Ribbons float above the fading sky.
Sinister, oh please be mine.
This zombie’s coming,
And when he finds me.
My glitter sinner lullaby
Will remain a treasure.

Vanishing Act

Losing our way, evident of what I felt.
The congruence of love and hate. Rumors.
The whitest sympathy in the blackest scrutiny.
Blackest malice, we can find happiness.I’m not yours, and you not mine.
You claim to take me to the sky,
Like Aladdin you say, but with nothing to hold.
I grasped the first piece of fabric from your shirt.
Flying is a lie, the night only carrying fear.
I blew the candles out when we landed.
No love, just choking. Dying, my love.Sugar skulls, death on the mind.
The face of perfection, tainted by my hand.
Time being started and not finished.
Incomplete thoughts, ruined by neglect.
These ranges trapping us runaways, alone and afraid.
Hold me closer, and we can feel again.
Do you care? Am I just guts in my words?
Meaningless, or worse: a stain. Disdain for myself.
I finally admit defeat, and the audience applauds.
I pull the trigger, and they rise to their feet.


“I’m Jonathan, I’m a Monster, I’m a blogger, I cuss like a sailor, I talk really fast, and I find myself in many awkward social situations that are ‘way beyond my maturity level’ (first Juno reference). Essentially, all you need to know is I am art, I am writing, I am music, and my work is fantastic. VALIDATE ME.”

Panqueques Sin Mantequilla

I think I’m gonna start this new thing where I add unfitting clip-art to my posts. Anyway, someone sent me a link to this website and it’s hilarious. Basically this guy finds posts on Craigslist, responds to them, and just messes with them until they hit their boiling point. A particular favorite among us MARKSmen is one about a Jeep Comanche. Click here to read the insanity and prepare your ribs for some serious laugh damage. WARNING: Pervasive language!

In other news, we have been hitting the jackpot on submissions and we’d like you guys to keep them coming. This is actually becoming something really significant which was pretty unexpected! We’ll definitely be posting more submissions and of course making more posts ourselves to keep things interesting. Also I love pancakes.

– Ryan



Three Poems by Jessy Randall (featuring Dan Shapiro)

Thank-You Note to the Supposed Lesbian Who Stole My Boyfriend
(first appeared in Slow Trains)

You and your
clingy shirts with
girl cartoon characters,
your funky glasses
and super-short haircut.

You and your
broken heart,
knowledge of diners
and flea markets,
vegetarian recipes.

You took him,
and forgot to say

But then,
I forgot to say
thank you.


The Seductiveness of the Memory Hole
(first appeared in The Magazine of Speculative Poetry)

“He crumpled up the original message and any notes that he himself had made, and dropped them into the memory hole to be devoured by the flames.” – George Orwell’s 1984.

We have an invention. We
invented it. What you do is,
you email us the thing
that you want to forget.
You list every detail. You
describe in full. When we
get the email, we delete it.
We don’t just delete the email.
We delete the thing. The thing
never happened. No one involved
will remember it; no one
who heard the story will
repeat it; even you yourself
will forget it.
We have done it already.
We are doing it right now.


Or Not
with Daniel M. Shapiro
(first appeared in 42opus)

We could get married. Have children. Be happy. Or decide
not to have children. I could marry your best friend.

I wield a potent vocabulary. You’re pulchritudinous. I napped
through English class. You know. Like. Um. Ah. You’re hot.

Do you remember what I said, that night in the car?
You don’t? Me neither. But at the time, it was true.

You loved how, tuxedoed and boutonniered, he squeakily asked
you to dance. But he might’ve just nodded. At somebody else.

She told me things about you that I already knew. I pretended
I didn’t and gave her away. It was easy. Or not.

Well, you know I would never try to stop you. Just go ahead.
You’re probably better off doing that, anyway. Wait.


Jessy Randall‘s collection of poems A Day in Boyland was a finalist for the Colorado Book Award in 2008. Her 2009 young adult novel, The Wandora Unit, is about love and friendship in the high school literary crowd. Her newest book is a collection of collaborative poems, Interruptions, written with Dan Shapiro and published in 2011. Her website is http://personalwebs.coloradocollege.edu/~jrandall/.

Daniel M. Shapiro‘s chapbooks are Teeth Underneath, Trading Fours, and The 44th Worst Album Ever. He and Jessy Randall have a collection of collaborative poems, Interruptions, now available from Pecan Grove Press. He blogs at http://littlemyths-dms.blogspot.com/.