The Triumph of Magdalen Montague

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

19 February 1923
M—, Devon

My dear R.,

I have just returned from explaining to an affable, dunderheaded farm hand that chivalry demands he make an honest woman of the butcher’s daughter he seduced a few months ago. It was easier to talk sense into his cloddish brain than it ever will be to convince you of anything, my friend. Don’t forget that even Swinburne faced death in his time. You cannot hope to escape the inevitable through sheer quantity of sin. [Read more...]

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Twist My Words

Michael Lee Johnson

I see the spring dance all over your face in green
you were arrogant before you viewed my willow tree
outside my balcony.
Now you wave at me
with green fingers
and lime smiles.
You twist my words,
Harvard collegiate style,
right where you want them to be-
lime green, willow tree, and
dark skinned branches.

Michael Lee Johnson is a poet and freelance writer from Itasca, IL. He is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom. He has also published two chapbooks of poetry. His poems have been published in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Fuji, Nigeria, India, and the United Kingdom.

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Story without a Name

Eve Tushnet

I.

Italics. I am in italics. I am canted slantwise toward the world. I pretend that the Roman numeral was modeled on me—the number for one. One alone, to be my own. . . .

I will never hear.

I.

I am the ellipsis. I am discreetly edited out.

I.

I am trapped in the subjunctive tense. Quisiera. I would have wanted. Perdiera. I would have missed. I would have. You know I would have. [Read more...]

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The Letters of Magdalen Montague: Prologue

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

Prologue *

On 4 April 1947, a house on the Rue des Trois Frères, raided by the Nazis and left untenanted since the liberation of Paris, was sold. Records of past ownership had been destroyed during the occupation, and since memory is short in that district, little was known of the man who had most recently lived there. No stories were known to explain his departure. How could there be at a time when so many were dead or disappeared without a trace? He might have evacuated the city with so many others; he might have been imprisoned; he might have been dead.

In the far corner of a dark and cluttered attic, a large, flat-topped trunk of soiled gray Trianon canvas was found. A label inside the lid boldly proclaimed the craftsmanship of Louis Vuitton—Malletier à Paris. Collaborator. [Read more...]

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The Same

Leah Acosta
It is the same.
The twisted strands . . . 
	of barbed wire, flesh now torn
	of plaited curls, freshly shorn
	of woven briars, crown of thorn.
The bruised reed . . . 
	freely blowing, sown in the distant sod
	trampled underfoot, by pris'ners heavy trod
	plucked, unbroken in the Son of God. [Read more...]

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Maritime

 I. The Cornucopia

Emerging cold and desperate, his whiting breath
Trails behind him like the old ship’s own signature
Disgorged in blunt belchings of smoke from its belly
Through a single squat stack piping up the trying pots.
The wit-starved whaler tells his hunger-angry crew:
Sing a tune from groggy memory; desires supply the words.
There’s the sea and he scans it like a line of poetry [Read more...]

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This Is Only a Test

Roger Mitchell
If the TV stares back in blank silence
without even so much as a message
from our sponsors, do not take it askance.
Black static flies like a flag over this age.
Salute and report for duty, be distracted,
for to be distracted is the noblest aim
(so long as GDP is not impacted). [Read more...]

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Well

Michael Schorsch
my church is sending me
to Mexico

it was autumn of course
a deviled egg

and the three of us shared
some rye bread

the river was already frozen

Ina, I
have resolved to become a religious man

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