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